Failure Modes of Platinized pn+-GaInP Photocathodes for Solar-Driven H2 Evolution.
ACS applied materials & interfaces
The long-term stability for the hydrogen-evolution reaction (HER) of homojunction pn+-Ga0.52In0.48P photocathodes (band gap = 1.8 eV) with an electrodeposited Pt catalyst (pn+-GaInP/Pt) has been systematically evaluated in both acidic and alkaline electrolytes. Electrode dissolution during chronoamperometry was correlated with changes over time in the current density-potential (J-E) behavior to reveal the underlying failure mechanism. Pristine pn+-GaInP/Pt photocathodes yielded an open-circuit photopotential (Eoc) as positive as >1.0 V vs the potential of the reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE) and a light-limited current density (Jph) of >12 mA cm-2 (1-sun illumination). However, Eoc and Jph gradually degraded at either pH 0 or pH 14. The performance degradation was attributed to three different failure modes: (1) gradual thinning of the n+-emitter layer due to GaInP dissolution in acid; (2) active corrosion of the underlying GaAs substrate at positive potentials causing delamination of the upper GaInP epilayers; and (3) direct GaAs/electrolyte contact compromising the operational stability of the device. This work reveals the importance of both substrate stability and structural integrity of integrated photoelectrodes toward stable solar fuel generation.
View details for DOI 10.1021/acsami.2c01845
View details for PubMedID 35666827
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Understanding the Stability of Etched or Platinized p-GaInP Photocathodes for Solar-Driven H2 Evolution.
ACS applied materials & interfaces
The long-term stability in acidic or alkaline aqueous electrolytes of p-Ga0.52In0.48P photocathodes, with a band gap of 1.8 eV, for the solar-driven hydrogen-evolution reaction (HER) has been evaluated from a thermodynamic, kinetic, and mechanistic perspective. At either pH 0 or pH 14, etched p-GaInP electrodes corroded cathodically under illumination and formed metallic In0 on the photoelectrode surface. In contrast, under the same conditions, electrodeposition of Pt facilitated the HER kinetics and stabilized p-GaInP/Pt photoelectrodes against such cathodic decomposition. When held at 0 V versus the reversible hydrogen electrode, p-GaInP/Pt electrodes in either pH = 0 or pH = 14 exhibited stable current densities (J) of -9 mA cm-2 for hundreds of hours under simulated 1 sun illumination. During the stability tests, the current density-potential (J-E) characteristics of the p-GaInP/Pt photoelectrodes degraded due to pH-dependent changes in the surface chemistry of the photocathode. This work provides a fundamental understanding of the stability and corrosion mechanisms of p-GaInP photocathodes that constitute a promising top light absorber for tandem solar-fuel generators.
View details for DOI 10.1021/acsami.1c18243
View details for PubMedID 34821500
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