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25 March 2013 Dilute phosphide nitride materials as photocathodes for electrochemical solar energy conversion
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Dilute nitride materials have been used in a variety of III-V photonic devices, but have not been significantly explored in photoelectrochemical applications. This work focuses on using dilute phosphide nitride materials of the form (Al,In)P1-xNx as photocathodes for the generation of hydrogen fuel from solar energy. Heteroepitaxial MOCVD growth of AlPN thin films on GaP yields high quality material with a direct bandgap energy of 2.218 eV. Aligned epitaxial growth of InP and GaP nanowires on InP and Si substrates, respectively, provides a template for designing nanostructured photocathodes over a large area. Electrochemical testing of a AlPN/GaP heterostructure electrode yields up to a sixfold increase in photocurrent enhancement under blue light illumination as compared to a GaP electrode. Additionally, the AlPN/GaP electrodes exhibit no degradation in performance after galvanostatic biasing over time. These results show that (Al,In)P1-xNx is a promising materials system for use in nanoscale photocathode structures.
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Vijay Parameshwaran, Xiaoqing Xu, Yangsen Kang, James Harris, H.-S. Philip Wong, and Bruce Clemens "Dilute phosphide nitride materials as photocathodes for electrochemical solar energy conversion", Proc. SPIE 8620, Physics, Simulation, and Photonic Engineering of Photovoltaic Devices II, 86201J (25 March 2013);

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