Direct Synthesis of Molybdenum Phosphide Nanorods on Silicon Using Graphene at the Heterointerface for Efficient Photoelectrochemical Water Reduction

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Springer Open
Nano-Micro Letters. 2021 Mar 01;13(1):81
Photoelectrochemical water splittingSiliconMolybdenum phosphideHydrogen evolutionGraphene
MoP nanorod-array catalysts were directly synthesized on graphene passivated silicon photocathodes without secondary phase.

Mo-O-C covalent bondings and energy band bending at heterointerfaces facilitate the electron transfer to the reaction sites.

Numerous catalytic sites and drastically enhanced anti-reflectance of MoP nanorods contribute to the high solar energy conversion efficiency.

Transition metal phosphides (TMPs) and transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) have been widely investigated as photoelectrochemical (PEC) catalysts for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). Using high-temperature processes to get crystallized compounds with large-area uniformity, it is still challenging to directly synthesize these catalysts on silicon photocathodes due to chemical incompatibility at the heterointerface. Here, a graphene interlayer is applied between p-Si and MoP nanorods to enable fully engineered interfaces without forming a metallic secondary compound that absorbs a parasitic light and provides an inefficient electron path for hydrogen evolution. Furthermore, the graphene facilitates the photogenerated electrons to rapidly transfer by creating Mo-O-C covalent bondings and energetically favorable band bending. With a bridging role of graphene, numerous active sites and anti-reflectance of MoP nanorods lead to significantly improved PEC-HER performance with a high photocurrent density of 21.8 mA cm−2 at 0 V versus RHE and high stability. Besides, low dependence on pH and temperature is observed with MoP nanorods incorporated photocathodes, which is desirable for practical use as a part of PEC cells. These results indicate that the direct synthesis of TMPs and TMDs enabled by graphene interlayer is a new promising way to fabricate Si-based photocathodes with high-quality interfaces and superior HER performance.

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College of Engineering/Engineering Practice School (공과대학/대학원)Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering (재료공학부)Journal Papers (저널논문_재료공학부)
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