Journal article

Solar Hydrogen Production by Amorphous Silicon Photocathodes Coated with a Magnetron Sputter Deposited Mo

Coupling of Earth-abundant hydrogen evolution catalysts to photoabsorbers is crucial for the production of hydrogen fuel using sunlight. In this work, we demonstrate the use of magnetron sputtering to deposit Mo2C as an efficient hydrogen evolution reaction catalyst onto surface-protected amorphous silicon (a-Si) photoabsorbers. The a-Si/Mo2C photocathode evolves hydrogen under simulated solar illumination in strongly acidic and alkaline electrolytes. Onsets of photocurrents are observed at potentials as positive as 0.85 V vs RHE. Under AM 1.5G (1 sun) illumination, the photocathodes reach current densities of -11.2 mA cm(-2) at the reversible hydrogen potential in 0.1 M H2SO4 and 1.0 M KOH. The high photovoltage and low-cost of the Mo2C/a-Si assembly make it a promising photocathode for solar hydrogen production.


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