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Science. 2011 Nov 4;334(6056):645-8. doi: 10.1126/science.1209816. Epub 2011 Sep 29.

Wireless solar water splitting using silicon-based semiconductors and earth-abundant catalysts.

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1
Sun Catalytix, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. streece@suncatalytix.com

Abstract

We describe the development of solar water-splitting cells comprising earth-abundant elements that operate in near-neutral pH conditions, both with and without connecting wires. The cells consist of a triple junction, amorphous silicon photovoltaic interfaced to hydrogen- and oxygen-evolving catalysts made from an alloy of earth-abundant metals and a cobalt|borate catalyst, respectively. The devices described here carry out the solar-driven water-splitting reaction at efficiencies of 4.7% for a wired configuration and 2.5% for a wireless configuration when illuminated with 1 sun (100 milliwatts per square centimeter) of air mass 1.5 simulated sunlight. Fuel-forming catalysts interfaced with light-harvesting semiconductors afford a pathway to direct solar-to-fuels conversion that captures many of the basic functional elements of a leaf.

PMID:
21960528
DOI:
10.1126/science.1209816
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