11 September 2007 a-SiC:H films used as photoelectrodes in a hybrid, thin-film silicon photoelectrochemical (PEC) cell for progress toward 10% solar-to hydrogen efficiency
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Abstract
In this paper we describe the fabrication of amorphous SiC:H materials and using them as photoelectrodes in photoelectrochemical cells (PEC). With the increase of CH4 flow (in SiH4 gas mixture) during growth, the bandgap, Eg, increases from ~ 1.8eV to ~2.0eV, while the photoconductivity decreases from ~10-5 S/cm to ~10-8 S/cm. These high-quality a-SiC:H materials with Eg of 2.0eV included into a solar cell configuration led to a conversion efficiency,η~7% on textured Asahi U type SnO2 coated substrates, with the i-layer thickness of ~300nm. For a reduced i-layer thickness of ~100 nm, a current density, Jsc ~8.45mA/cm2 has been achieved, Immersing the a-SiC:H(p)/a-SiC:H(i) structure in 0.33M H3PO4 electrolytes, produced a photocurrent of ~7mA/cm2. With a further optimization we expect that the photocurrent could exceed 9mA/cm2. With the use of this configuration substrate/silicon tandem device (a-Si/a-Si or a- Si/nc-Si)/a-SiC:H(p)/a-SiC:H(i), it may therefore be possible to increase the solar-to-hydrogen (STH) efficiencies to beyond 10%.
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Feng Zhu, Feng Zhu, Jian Hu, Jian Hu, Augusto Kunrath, Augusto Kunrath, Ilvydas Matulionis, Ilvydas Matulionis, Bjorn Marsen, Bjorn Marsen, Brian Cole, Brian Cole, Eric Miller, Eric Miller, Arun Madan, Arun Madan, } "a-SiC:H films used as photoelectrodes in a hybrid, thin-film silicon photoelectrochemical (PEC) cell for progress toward 10% solar-to hydrogen efficiency", Proc. SPIE 6650, Solar Hydrogen and Nanotechnology II, 66500S (11 September 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.735014; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.735014
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