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Coatings 2015, 5(3), 293-311; doi:10.3390/coatings5030293

Chalcopyrite Thin Film Materials for Photoelectrochemical Hydrogen Evolution from Water under Sunlight

Department of Chemical System Engineering, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Francesco Di Benedetto
Received: 30 May 2015 / Revised: 4 July 2015 / Accepted: 14 July 2015 / Published: 17 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Thin Film Materials for Photovoltaic Applications)
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Abstract

Copper chalcopyrite is a promising candidate for a photocathode material for photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting because of its high half-cell solar-to-hydrogen conversion efficiency (HC-STH), relatively simple and low-cost preparation process, and chemical stability. This paper reviews recent advances in copper chalcopyrite photocathodes. The PEC properties of copper chalcopyrite photocathodes have improved fairly rapidly: HC-STH values of 0.25% and 8.5% in 2012 and 2015, respectively. On the other hand, the onset potential remains insufficient, owing to the shallow valence band maximum mainly consisting of Cu 3d orbitals. In order to improve the onset potential, we explored substituting Cu for Ag and investigate the PEC properties of silver gallium selenide (AGSe) thin film photocathodes for varying compositions, film growth atmospheres, and surfaces. The modified AGSe photocathodes showed a higher onset potential than copper chalcopyrite photocathodes. It was demonstrated that element substitution of copper chalcopyrite can help to achieve more efficient PEC water splitting. View Full-Text
Keywords: photoelectrochemical water splitting; hydrogen; photocathode; chalcopyrites; materials and thin film characterization photoelectrochemical water splitting; hydrogen; photocathode; chalcopyrites; materials and thin film characterization
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Kaneko, H.; Minegishi, T.; Domen, K. Chalcopyrite Thin Film Materials for Photoelectrochemical Hydrogen Evolution from Water under Sunlight. Coatings 2015, 5, 293-311.

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