Solar-fuels production by a monolithic and standalone photoelectrochemical device

Solar-fuels production by a monolithic and standalone photoelectrochemical device
Issue Date
International Solar Fuels Conference
Solar-fuels production inspired from nature has attracted substantial attention due to a need for developing sustainable future energy as well as chemical resources. In this study, we demonstrate a highly efficient solar energy to chemical conversion device using CO2 and water as feedstock. For the realization of this architecture we developed a thin film photovoltaic technology for the light absorbing component using a low cost, solution based Cu(InxGa1-x)(SySe1-y)2 (CIGS) fabrication method to provide high enough potential for the conversion reactions. Our solar-fuel device adapted cobalt oxide (Co3O4) nanoparticle thin film deposited with a low temperature coating method as the water oxidation catalyst and nanostructured metal films as the CO2 reduction to CO or HCOOH generation catalyst. Remarkably, this is the first demonstration of a monolithic and standalone solar-fuel device (Fig. 1) whose solar-to-fuel conversion efficiency from CO2 and H2O is over 4%, which is comparable to that of photosynthesis in nature. The details of the synthetic method and characterization of each component and the solar-fuel generation system will be discussed in the presentation.
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