Atomically dispersed iridium catalysts on silicon photoanode for efficient photoelectrochemical water splitting

Sang Eon Jun, Youn Hye Kim, Jaehyun Kim, Woo Seok Cheon, Sungkyun Choi, Jinwook Yang, Hoonkee Park, Hyungsoo Lee, Sun Hwa Park, Ki Chang Kwon, Jooho Moon, Soo Hyun Kim, Ho Won Jang

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Stabilizing atomically dispersed single atoms (SAs) on silicon photoanodes for photoelectrochemical-oxygen evolution reaction is still challenging due to the scarcity of anchoring sites. Here, we elaborately demonstrate the decoration of iridium SAs on silicon photoanodes and assess the role of SAs on the separation and transfer of photogenerated charge carriers. NiO/Ni thin film, an active and highly stable catalyst, is capable of embedding the iridium SAs in its lattices by locally modifying the electronic structure. The isolated iridium SAs enable the effective photogenerated charge transport by suppressing the charge recombination and lower the thermodynamic energy barrier in the potential-determining step. The Ir SAs/NiO/Ni/ZrO2/n-Si photoanode exhibits a benchmarking photoelectrochemical performance with a high photocurrent density of 27.7 mA cm−2 at 1.23 V vs. reversible hydrogen electrode and 130 h stability. This study proposes the rational design of SAs on silicon photoelectrodes and reveals the potential of the iridium SAs to boost photogenerated charge carrier kinetics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number609
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea governmnet Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) (2021R1A4A3027878, 2018M3D1A1058793, and 2021M3H4A1A03057403). This research was also supported by the KRISS (Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science) MPI Lab. program. H. W. Jang and S. E. Jun gratefully acknowledge KRISS MPI Lab. program. The Inter-University Semiconductor Research Center and Institute of Engineering Research at Seoul National University provided research facilities for this work. We thank the Pohang Accelerator Laboratory for providing the synchrotron radiation source at 8C beamline.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • General
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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