Enhancing the Performance of Photoelectrolysis Cells for Solar Hydrogen Generation via NANO-TiO

U. Tipparach, P. Wongwanwattana, T. Sompun, and P. Limsuwan (Thailand)


Photoelectrolysis, temperature dependence, solar energyTitanium TiO2 nanocrystalline, performance, platinumnanofilms


Photoelectronchemical (PEC) cells of water-splitting photoelectrolysis for solar hydrogen generation based on nano-TiO2 photoanodes and platinum-nanofilm counter electrodes have great potential to produce efficient, environmentally sound, and renewable energy. The purpose of this work is to fabricate the PEC cells and study the effects of nano-TiO2 structures of materials used in photoanodes and platinum-nanofilm counter electrodes on the efficiency of PEC cells in conversing sunlight to chemical energy in form of hydrogen. The TiO2 films were deposited on transparent conducting oxide (TCO) glass substrates by sol-gel dip-coating. X-ray diffraction (XRD) technique was employed to study microstructure of the films. The counter electrodes were nickel sheets coated with platinum-nanofilms by dc magnetron sputtering. Atomic force microscope (AFM) was used to examine surface morphology of the platinum films. The PEC cells show the feasibility of the conversion from sunlight to hydrogen achieving the maximum efficiency of 0.34 % when pure anatase TiO2 photoanodes, platinum-nanofilm counter electrodes were used. Further development will be pursued for more practical, durable, and affordable source of sustainable energy.

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