Interface-Engineered Ni-Coated CdTe Heterojunction Photocathode for Enhanced Photoelectrochemical Hydrogen Evolution

Jian, Jing-Xin, Xie, Luo-Han, Mumtaz, Asim ORCID: 0000-0002-8982-5206, Baines, Tom, Major, Jonathan D ORCID: 0000-0002-5554-1985, Tong, Qing-Xiao and Sun, Jianwu
(2023) Interface-Engineered Ni-Coated CdTe Heterojunction Photocathode for Enhanced Photoelectrochemical Hydrogen Evolution. ACS APPLIED MATERIALS & INTERFACES, 15 (17). pp. 21057-21065.

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Photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting for hydrogen production using the CdTe photocathode has attracted much interest due to its excellent sunlight absorption property and energy band structure. This work presents a study of engineered interfacial energetics of CdTe photocathodes by deposition of CdS, TiO<sub>2</sub>, and Ni layers. A heterostructure CdTe/CdS/TiO<sub>2</sub>/Ni photocathode was fabricated by depositing a 100-nm <i>n</i>-type CdS layer on a <i>p</i>-type CdTe surface, with 50 nm TiO<sub>2</sub> as a protective layer and a 10 nm Ni layer as a co-catalyst. The CdTe/CdS/TiO<sub>2</sub>/Ni photocathode exhibits a high photocurrent density (<i>J</i><sub>ph</sub>) of 8.16 mA/cm<sup>2</sup> at 0 V versus reversible hydrogen electrode (V<sub>RHE</sub>) and a positive-shifted onset potential (<i>E</i><sub>onset</sub>) of 0.70 V<sub>RHE</sub> for PEC hydrogen evolution under 100 mW/cm<sup>2</sup> AM1.5G illumination. We further demonstrate that the CdTe/CdS <i>p</i>-<i>n</i> junction promotes the separation of photogenerated carriers, the TiO<sub>2</sub> layer protects the electrode from corrosion, and the Ni catalyst improves the charge transfer across the electrode/electrolyte interface. This work provides new insights for designing noble metal-free photocathodes toward solar hydrogen development.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: cadmium telluride, photoelectrochemical, water splitting, hydrogen evolution, interface engineering
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Engineering > School of Physical Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2023 10:02
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2023 10:10
DOI: 10.1021/acsami.3c01476
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