Solar Fuel Generation By 1D ZnO /QDs Heterostructures

Wednesday, October 14, 2015
West Hall 1 (Phoenix Convention Center)
Y. He (West Virginia University), J. Li, D. Chu (U.S. Army Research Laboratory), J. Bright (West Virginia University), and N. Wu (West Virginia University)
Nowadays, with the crisis of the fossil fuels’ depletion and the pollution from these fuels’ combustion, there is a huge demand for clean and sustainable energy source, which makes solar energy extremely appealing. Using a photoelectrochemical cell (PEC) with the semiconductor as a photoanode, the solar energy could be absorbed, converted and stored in hydrogen via water splitting. One-dimensional (1D) nanostructured semiconductors, as a photoanode, are promising with their advantage in photon absorption and charge transport. The solar fuel efficiency could be increased using the hybridized Quantum Dots-1D nanostructure heterojunction. Herein we report the fabrication of QDs/ZnO 1D heterostructure for solar fuel generation. Such band alignment not only extends the light harvesting up to near infrared region, but also forces the forward transfer of the charge carriers, which improves the charge separation and suppresses the charge recombination, and thus ensures the high efficiency. Such 1D nanostructures provide great opportunities for the realization of the solar cell commercialization.