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Open AccessArticle

Photo-Assisted Hydrogen Evolution with Reduced Graphene Oxide Catalyst on Silicon Nanowire Photocathode

by Yelyn Sim 1,†, Jude John 1,†, Joonhee Moon 2,* and Uk Sim 1,*
1
Department of Materials Science & Engineering, Chonnam National University, Gwangju 61186, Korea
2
Advanced Nano-Surface Research Group, Korea Basic Science Institute, Daejeon 34133, Korea
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(11), 2046; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8112046
Received: 17 September 2018 / Revised: 22 October 2018 / Accepted: 22 October 2018 / Published: 25 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials for Solar Water Splitting)
The silicon-based photoelectrochemical (PEC) conversion system has recently gained attention owing to its ability to provide cost-efficient and superior photoresponsive behavior with respect to other semiconductor photoelectrodes. Carbon-based co-catalysts have always been the focus of research as alternative metal-free electrocatalysts intended for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). In particular, reduced graphene oxide (rGO), a representative carbon-derived material, has attracted much attention as a non-metal catalyst for efficient and durable HER. Herein, we deposited rGO on a silicon nanowire (SiNW) structure, which showed the highest reduction in the overpotential for HER up to date. This can be attributed to the synergistic effects of rGO and SiNW with unique anisotropic morphology, facile tuning capabilities, and scalable fabrication methods. Combined with nanostructured photocathode, rGO-deposited SiNW showed better photon to current conversion efficiency of 3.16% (half solar-to-hydrogen conversion efficiency), which is 158 times higher than that of the bare planar Si system. In light of this development, we believe that rGO-SiNW photoelectrodes will pave the way for state-of-the-art highly efficient non-metal catalysts for energy conversion technologies. View Full-Text
Keywords: silicon nanowire (SiNW); hydrogen evolution reaction (HER); reduced graphene oxide silicon nanowire (SiNW); hydrogen evolution reaction (HER); reduced graphene oxide
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sim, Y.; John, J.; Moon, J.; Sim, U. Photo-Assisted Hydrogen Evolution with Reduced Graphene Oxide Catalyst on Silicon Nanowire Photocathode. Appl. Sci. 2018, 8, 2046.

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