Efficient Solar Water Splitting with 5,000 Hours Stability Using Earth-abundant Catalysts and Durable Layered 2D Perovskites

Recipient Los Alamos National Lab/LANL (PI: Aditya Mohite)

Subs Rutgers (PI: Manish Chhowalla) and University of Louisville (PI: Gautam Gupta)

Water Splitting Technology PEC

Status Not Active

Abstract Despite decades of research and in-spite of significant progress, efficient large-scale solar-to-fuel con-version (water to H2) remains a challenge. Two of the most developed technologies are based on (a) Titania (or metal oxides) and (b) III-V semiconductors. Although the metal oxides are durable, they are inefficient with average STH efficiency of 1% because of incomplete absorption across solar spectrum. PECs employing tandem solar cells based on III-V semiconductors are extremely efficient with STH efficiencies >12%, however, they have a high propensity for photo-corrosion in aqueous media.

In this project, we will demonstrate a novel and efficient PEC system using low-cost, advanced earth abundant materials for achieving direct water-splitting to produce hydrogen fuel. By interfacing our recently pioneered technologically stable (in sunlight and 65% humidity) and high-efficiency (solar cell efficiency >14%) layered two-dimensional perovskites with our recently developed high performance catalysts for Hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and Oxygen evolution reaction (OER), we will produce first of its kind PCE cells. We will achieve our goal through innovation in each of the three components of the water-splitting system namely (1) high-efficiency, low-cost perovskite photocells in tandem (2) HER and OER catalysts on high surface area carbon supports and (3) Integration of 2D perovskite solar cells with catalysts with electronically transparent, moisture resistant barriers. Specific strategies described below will be developed in each component to understand factors that lead to corrosion and degradation and develop strategies to mitigate these detrimental effects.