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Nanotechnology. 2013 May 3;24(17):175401. doi: 10.1088/0957-4484/24/17/175401. Epub 2013 Apr 3.

High efficiency photoelectrochemical water splitting and hydrogen generation using GaN nanowire photoelectrode.

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Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, McGill University, 3480 University Street, Montreal, QC, Canada.


We have studied the photoelectrochemical properties of both undoped and Si-doped GaN nanowire arrays in 1 mol l(-1) solutions of hydrogen bromide and potassium bromide, which were used separately as electrolytes. It is observed that variations of the photocurrent with bias voltage depend strongly on the n-type doping in GaN nanowires in both electrolytes, which are analyzed in the context of GaN surface band bending and its variation with the incorporation of Si-doping. Maximum incident-photon-to-current-conversion efficiencies of ~15% and 18% are measured for undoped and Si-doped GaN nanowires under ~350 nm light illumination, respectively. Stable hydrogen generation is also observed at a zero bias potential versus the counter-electrode.

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