III-V materials, which exhibit high absorption coefficients and charge carrier mobility, are ideal templates for solar energy conversion applications. This work describes the photoelectrochemistry research in several IIIV/electrolyte junctions as an enabler for device design for solar chemical reactions. By designing lattice-matched epitaxial growth of InGaP and GaP on GaAs and Si, respectively, extended depletion region electrodes achieve photovoltages which provide an additional boost to the underlying substrate photovoltage. The InGaP/GaAs and GaP/Si electrodes drive hydrogen evolution currents under aqueous conditions. By using nanowires of InN and InP under carefully controlled growth conditions, current and capacitance measurements are obtained to reveal the nature of the nanowire-electrolyte interface and how light is translated into photocurrent for InP and a photovoltage in InN. The materials system is expanded into the III-V nitride semiconductors, in which it is shown that varying the morphology of GaN on silicon yields insights to how the interface and light conversion is modulated as a basis for future designs. Current extensions of this work address growth and tuning of the III-V nitride electrodes with doping and polarization engineering for efficient coupling to solar-driven chemical reactions, and rapid-throughput methods for III-V nanomaterials synthesis in this materials space.
Vijay Parameshwaran, Ryan Enck, Roy Chung, Stephen Kelley, Anand Sampath, Meredith Reed, Xiaoqing Xu, and Bruce Clemens, "Photoelectrochemistry of III-V epitaxial layers and nanowires for solar energy conversion," Proc. SPIE 10194, Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications IX, 101940N (Presented at SPIE Defense + Security: April 10, 2017; Published: 18 May 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2264950.
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