Thomas Jaramillo, Chemical Engineering, Stanford University
Hydrogen production from photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting has been extensively investigated in the last few decades following the first experimental demonstrations using TiO2-based photoanodes. The realization of efficient and cost-effective PEC systems requires the identification of material candidates with the following properties: optimal bandgap for improved solar absorption; band edges aligned with the energy levels required for the redox water splitting reaction; sufficient carrier mobility for the photogenerated charges to reach the electrode/water interface before recombination; stability against corrosion; optimal catalytic properties for H2 and O2 evolution; and low cost. This exploratory program aims at investigating the potential of nanostructured earth-abundant, non-toxic dichalcogenide semiconductors (molybdenum and tungsten disulfides) where bulk and surface properties could be tailored independently to satisfy the above criteria by controlling their nanostructure.
- 2010 Progress Report (PDF)