Charge Carrier Dynamics in Photoelectrodes for Artificial Photosynthesis
Steph received a Masters in Chemistry from the University of Edinburgh in 2008, and did her PhD with the Durrent group on Charge Carrier Dynamics in Hematite Photoanodes for Solar Water Oxidation (2008-2012).
Steph is now a post-doctoral research associate, investigating charge carrier dynamics in semiconductor materials for artificial photosynthesis ("solar fuels"). The effects of doping, film thickness, morphology, surface treatment and heterostructures on charge carrier dynamics in photoelectrodes both in isolation and in complete working photoelectrochemical (PEC) cells are studied. Steph uses transient absorption spectroscopy (TAS) on picosecond-nanosecond and microsecond-second timescales to directly monitor photogenerated electrons and holes. Photoelectrochemical (PEC) techniques utilised include current/voltage measurements, IPCE/APCE (external/internal quantum efficiency) and fast (nanosecond-second timescale) transient photocurrent (TPC) and transient photovoltage (TPV). TAS in conjunction with TPC & TPV allow elucidation of the relative rates of charge carrier recombination, electron extraction and hole transfer (water oxidation). Understanding the effects of electrical bias (applied voltage) and light intensity on the rates of charge carrier recombination, electron extraction and water oxidation provide insights into the factors limiting solar-to-hydrogen efficiency of photoelectrode materials.
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