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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Ten-percent solar-to-fuel conversion with nonprecious materials.


PMID 25225379

Abstract

Direct solar-to-fuels conversion can be achieved by coupling a photovoltaic device with water-splitting catalysts. We demonstrate that a solar-to-fuels efficiency (SFE) > 10% can be achieved with nonprecious, low-cost, and commercially ready materials. We present a systems design of a modular photovoltaic (PV)-electrochemical device comprising a crystalline silicon PV minimodule and low-cost hydrogen-evolution reaction and oxygen-evolution reaction catalysts, without power electronics. This approach allows for facile optimization en route to addressing lower-cost devices relying on crystalline silicon at high SFEs for direct solar-to-fuels conversion.

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