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Upcoming events

CCI Cybermeeting - Miguel Caban-Acevedo, Brunschwig Group, C


01:00 PM02:00 PM, September 14, 2017

Band-Edge Control of Monocrystalline Silicon Through Surface Chemical Functionalization

Band-Edge Control of Monocrystalline Silicon Through Surface Chemical Functionalization 

In the past decade, the scientific community has reported the discovery of a wide variety of very promising earth-abundant catalysts for the hydrogen-evolution reaction (HER). Despite great progress, direct integration of HER catalysts with promising photocathodes (e.g. p-silicon) has been challenging due to the degradation of PEC performance from unfavorable energetic alignment between the catalyst and semiconductor and/or formation of deleterious interfacial gap states. Thus, exploring new pathways to solve the challenges associated with pairing semiconductor and catalyst materials is of great importance to keep the photoelectrode fabrication simple and cost-effective. Towards addressing this important scientific challenge at the semiconductor/catalyst interface, we report our ongoing investigation on the utilization of surface chemical functionalization as a strategy to tune the energetic alignment at the interface. Our research efforts focus specifically on the functionalization of silicon using mixed monolayers as a way to induced a positive band-edge shift to improve the energetic alignment and interfacial properties between p-silicon photocathodes and high work function catalyst materials (e.g. platinum and cobalt phosphide). We will discuss our latest results on the development of new chemical pathways for the preparation of mixed monolayers containing positive molecular dipoles on silicon and fabrication strategies for direct integration of solid state catalysts with functionalized photocathodes using soft protecting layers.