Hydrogen and electricity production via water splitting in a tandem photoelectrochemical-perovskite solar cell




Maria Antoniadou








“Hydrogen and electricity production via water splitting in a tandem photoelectrochemical-perovskite solar cell”

In NEROPHOS project we introduce an all solution processed tandem assembly, composed of a PEC, bearing novel nanomaterials upon the photoanode and a single – junction hybrid perovskite solar cell (PeSC)as the coupled PV device, providing the extra voltage needed towards unhampered photocatalytic water splitting and photodegradation of contaminants. 

NEROPHOS’s goals:

The synthesis and characterization of both pristine and doped (with Gd, Fe, Mo etc.) Fe2O3, WO3 and BiVO4 nanostructures. Their alteration with metal ions is expected to affect positively their photocatalytic behaviour, by improving their oxidizing and reducing ability, improving their conductivity and simultaneously acting as a passivation layer, thus reducing electron-hole recombination. Furthermore, the synthesis and characterization of graphtitic carbon nitride.

The development and characterization of a PEC, as to be utilized for electricity/hydrogen production with coincidental decomposition of organic

wastes. The device will be fabricated employing the aforementioned photocatalysts (Fe2O3, WO3, BiVO4, g-C3N4) either as sole layers or in heterojunction types, combining carbon nitride with the rest semiconductors. Graphene-based materials and Cu2O will be integrated as Pt-free electrocatalysts. The sacrificing agents employed belong mostly to the alcohols, methanol, ethanol, and glycerol but also phenols and aldehydes will be tested, and have been chosen since they form representative species of chemical compounds that can be found within organic wastes and biomass byproducts.

The successful synthesis of stable, mixed CH3NH3PbI3, CH3NH3Pb(I1−xBrx)3 (ΜΑ Pb(I1−xBrx)3) and lead-free Sn-based perovskite crystals, in an effort not only to fabricate effective IR photoactive absorbers with optimum (broad) spectral response and maximum phtovoltage, but also to explore the possibility of embedding a non-toxic PeSC. The development of a stable PV device based on innovative hybrid perovskite absorbers, targeting the optimization of the tandem device functionality and the unobstructed water and organic wastes splitting.

The successful electrical series connection of the PEC and the PV cells and the operation of the tandem device both in the presence and in the absence of oxygen, towards producing “useful” electrical and chemical energy respectively. Moreover, the complete electrochemical characterization and performance evaluation of the tandem cell along with the calculation of Solar to Hydrogen Efficiency, SHE.

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