Substitution of native silicon oxide by titanium in Ni-coated silicon photoanodes for water splitting solar cells

Yuanyuan Shi, Tingting Han, Carolina Gimbert-Suriñach, Xiaoxue Song, Mario Lanza, Antoni Llobet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© The Royal Society of Chemistry. Using an ultrathin (2 nm) evaporated Ti film to replace the native SiO X of the nSi photoanode and then coating it by thin (2 and 5 nm) Ni layers, the resulting 2 nm Ni/2 nm Ti coated nSi photoanodes (without the native SiO X ) reach a photocurrent onset potential of -42 mV relative to the SCE reference electrode in 1 M KOH under 1 simulated sun illumination (-202 mV relative to the potential for the oxygen evolution reaction). With increasing the thickness of the Ni layer to 5 nm, the 5 nm Ni/2 nm Ti/nSi photoanodes show 50 mV lower onset potential than 5 nm Ni directly coated on native SiO X /nSi photoanodes and exhibit a very stable photoelectrochemical performance, which keep 100% activity (10 mA cm -2 at 0.8 V vs. SCE) for ∼6.5 days. These results can be comparable to those of the typical NiO X coated nSi photoanodes with n-p + buried homojunctions. Using a Ti layer to replace the native SiO X of the nSi photoanodes increases the conductivity of the sample and helps the charge transfer process. In addition, the interlayer Ti film absorbs the oxygen from nearby layers or from the atmosphere, making the Ti layer partially oxidized. The in situ TiO X layer formed from evaporated Ti has more electron defects than the ALD deposited TiO 2 , and could be responsible for the improved hole conduction process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1996-2003
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry A
Volume5
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

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