Charge Transfer Characterization of ALD-Grown TiO<inf>2</inf> Protective Layers in Silicon Photocathodes

Carles Ros, Teresa Andreu, María Dolores Hernández-Alonso, Germán Penelas-Pérez, Jordi Arbiol, Joan R. Morante

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    31 Citations (Scopus)


    © 2017 American Chemical Society. A critical parameter for the implementation of standard high-efficiency photovoltaic absorber materials for photoelectrochemical water splitting is its proper protection from chemical corrosion while remaining transparent and highly conductive. Atomic layer deposited (ALD) TiO2 layers fulfill material requirements while conformally protecting the underlying photoabsorber. Nanoscale conductivity of ALD TiO2 protective layers on silicon-based photocathodes has been analyzed, proving that the conduction path is through the columnar crystalline structure of TiO2. Deposition temperature has been explored from 100 to 300 °C, and a temperature threshold is found to be mandatory for an efficient charge transfer, as a consequence of layer crystallization between 100 and 200 °C. Completely crystallized TiO2 is demonstrated to be mandatory for long-term stability, as seen in the 300 h continuous operation test.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)17932-17941
    JournalACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
    Issue number21
    Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2017


    • PEC cells
    • atomic layer deposition
    • protecting overlayers
    • silicon
    • solar hydrogen production
    • titanium dioxide
    • water splitting

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