Water photolysis at 12.3% efficiency via perovskite photovoltaics and Earth-abundant catalysts

Significance Statement

The authors developed a new efficient way of producing hydrogen fuel from sunlight and water. By combining a pair of solar cells made with a mineral (perovskite) and low cost electrodes.  Authors obtained a 12.3 percent conversion efficiency from solar energy to hydrogen.

 

Water photolysis at 12.3% efficiency via perovskite photovoltaics and Earth-abundant catalysts

Science, 26 September 2014: 1593-1596.

ingshan Luo, Jeong-Hyeok Im, Matthew T. Mayer, Marcel Schreier, Mohammad Khaja Nazeeruddin, Nam-Gyu Park, S. David Tilley, Hong Jin Fan, and Michael Grätzel.

Laboratory of Photonics and Interfaces, Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering, School of Basic Sciences, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland. &
Division of Physics and Applied Physics, School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), 637371 Singapore &

School of Chemical Engineering and Department of Energy Science, Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU), Suwon 440-746, Korea.

 

ABSTRACT

Although sunlight-driven water splitting is a promising route to sustainable hydrogen fuel production, widespread implementation is hampered by the expense of the necessary photovoltaic and photoelectrochemical apparatus. Here, we describe a highly efficient and low-cost water-splitting cell combining a state-of-the-art solution-processed perovskite tandem solar cell and a bifunctional Earth-abundant catalyst. The catalyst electrode, a NiFe layered double hydroxide, exhibits high activity toward both the oxygen and hydrogen evolution reactions in alkaline electrolyte. The combination of the two yields a water-splitting photocurrent density of around 10 milliamperes per square centimeter, corresponding to a solar-to-hydrogen efficiency of 12.3%. Currently, the perovskite instability limits the cell lifetime.

 

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