Water oxidation with inhomogeneous metal-silicon interfaces

Abstract : Silicon (Si) is a prime candidate for manufacturing water-splitting photoelectrochemical cells, however, the stability of this material remains a serious bottleneck. This is particularly true for the photoanode, subject to severe deactivation mechanisms. So far, thin film homogeneity has been the paradigm in the quest for stable and efficient Si-based photoanodes, which involved the use of vapor deposition methods to produce conformal thin films ensuring Si protection and efficient catalysis during operation. Conversely, recent reports on n-Si/metal thin film junctions have highlighted the benefits of the junction heterogeneity, generated in situ. In addition, results obtained from n-Si photoanodes partially covered with discontinuous films of Co and Ni nanoparticles lately suggested that homogeneity is not a prerequisite to reach efficiency and stability. Such findings may open new protection routes for Si-based photoanodes, breaking with classical strategies and allowing the use of liquid phase modification methods such as electrodeposition.
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G. Loget. Water oxidation with inhomogeneous metal-silicon interfaces. Current Opinion in Colloid & Interface Science, Elsevier, 2019, 39, pp.40-50. ⟨10.1016/j.cocis.2019.01.001⟩. ⟨hal-02051171⟩

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