552 results found
Corby S, Francàs L, Kafizas A, et al., 2020, Determining the role of oxygen vacancies in the photoelectrocatalytic performance of WO3 for water oxidation, Chemical Science, ISSN: 2041-6520
Oxygen vacancies are common to most metal oxides, whether intentionally incorporated or otherwise, and the study of these defects is of increasing interest for solar water splitting. In this work, we examine nanostructured WO3 photoanodes of varying oxygen content to determine how the concentration of bulk oxygen-vacancy states affects the photocatalytic performance for water oxidation. Using transient optical spectroscopy, we follow the charge carrier recombination kinetics in these samples, from picoseconds to seconds, and examine how differing oxygen vacancy concentrations impact upon these kinetics. We find that samples with an intermediate concentration of vacancies (∼2% of oxygen atoms) afford the greatest photoinduced charge carrier densities, and the slowest recombination kinetics across all timescales studied. This increased yield of photogenerated charges correlates with improved photocurrent densities under simulated sunlight, with both greater and lesser oxygen vacancy concentrations resulting in enhanced recombination losses and poorer J–V performances. Our conclusion, that an optimal – neither too high nor too low – concentration of oxygen vacancies is required for optimum photoelectrochemical performance, is discussed in terms of the competing beneficial and detrimental impact these defects have on charge separation and transport, as well as the implications held for other highly doped materials for photoelectrochemical water oxidation.
Kosco J, Bidwell M, Cha H, et al., 2020, Enhanced photocatalytic hydrogen evolution from organic semiconductor heterojunction nanoparticles, NATURE MATERIALS, ISSN: 1476-1122
Hamid Z, Wadsworth A, Rezasoltani E, et al., 2020, Influence of Polymer Aggregation and Liquid Immiscibility on Morphology Tuning by Varying Composition in PffBT4T-2DT/Nonfullerene Organic Solar Cells, ADVANCED ENERGY MATERIALS, Vol: 10, ISSN: 1614-6832
Francas L, Corby S, Selim S, et al., 2020, Spectroelectrochemical study of water oxidation on nickel and iron oxyhydroxide electrocatalysts (vol 10, 5208, 2019), NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, Vol: 11, ISSN: 2041-1723
Hong DP, Jain SM, Li M, et al., 2020, All-Rounder Low-Cost Dopant-Free D-A-D Hole-Transporting Materials for Efficient Indoor and Outdoor Performance of Perovskite Solar Cells, ADVANCED ELECTRONIC MATERIALS, ISSN: 2199-160X
Mesa Zamora C, Francas Forcada L, Yang KR, et al., 2020, Multihole water oxidation catalysis on hematite photoanodes revealed by operando spectroelectrochemistry and density functional theory, Nature Chemistry, Vol: 12, Pages: 82-89, ISSN: 1755-4330
Water oxidation is the key kinetic bottle neck of photoelectrochemical devices for fuel synthesis. Despite advances in the identification of intermediates, elucidating the catalytic mechanism of this multi-redox reactionon metal-oxidephotoanodes remains a significant experimental and theoretical challenge. Here we report an experimental analysis of water oxidation kinetics on four widely studied metal oxides, focusing particularly upon hematite.We observe that hematite is able toaccess a reaction mechanism third order in surface hole density, assigned to equilibration between three surface holes and M(OH)-O-M(OH) sites. This reaction exhibits a remarkably low activation energy (Ea~ 60 meV). Density functional theory is employedto determine the energetics of charge accumulation and O-O bond formation on a modelhematite 110 surface. The proposed mechanism shows parallels with the function of oxygen evolving complex of photosystem II,and provides new insights to the mechanism of heterogeneous water oxidation on a metal oxide surface.
Spitler MT, Modestino MA, Deutsch TG, et al., Practical challenges in the development of photoelectrochemical solar fuels production, Sustainable Energy & Fuels, Vol: 4, Pages: 985-995
<p>Analyses are made of the connectivity of PEC fuels market place, prototype and materials to create an efficient research focus.</p>
Back H, Kim G, Kim H, et al., Highly stable inverted methylammonium lead tri-iodide perovskite solar cells achieved by surface re-crystallization, Energy & Environmental Science, Vol: 13, Pages: 840-847, ISSN: 1754-5692
<p>A long-term operational stability over 1000 hours in the inverted type perovskite solar cells based on the MAPbI<sub>3</sub> layer is demonstrated under ionic defect-free conditions.</p>
Lin C-T, Lee J, Kim J, et al., 2019, Origin of Open-Circuit Voltage Enhancements in Planar Perovskite Solar Cells Induced by Addition of Bulky Organic Cations, ADVANCED FUNCTIONAL MATERIALS, ISSN: 1616-301X
Selim S, Pastor E, García-Tecedor M, et al., 2019, Impact of oxygen vacancy occupancy on charge carrier dynamics in BiVO4 photoanodes, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol: 141, Pages: 18791-18798, ISSN: 0002-7863
Oxygen vacancies are ubiquitous in metal oxides and critical to performance, yet the impact of these states upon charge carrier dynamics important for photoelectrochemical and photocatalytic applications, remains contentious and poorly understood. A key challenge is the unambiguous identification of spectroscopic fingerprints which can be used to track their function. Herein, we employ five complementary techniques to modulate the electronic occupancy of states associated with oxygen vacancies in situ in BiVO4 photoanodes, allowing us to identify a spectral signature for the ionisation of these states. We obtain an activation energy of ̴ 0.2 eV for this ionisation process, with thermally activated electron de-trapping from these states determining the kinetics of electron extraction, consistent with improved photoelectrochemical performance at higher temperatures. Bulk, un-ionised states however, function as deep hole traps, with such trapped holes being energetically unable to drive water oxidation. These observations help address recent controversies in the literature over oxygen vacancy function, providing new insights into their impact upon photoelectrochemical performance.
Ambroz F, Xu W, Gadipelli S, et al., 2019, Room Temperature Synthesis of Phosphine-Capped Lead Bromide Perovskite Nanocrystals without Coordinating Solvents, PARTICLE & PARTICLE SYSTEMS CHARACTERIZATION, Vol: 37, ISSN: 0934-0866
Daboczi M, Hamilton I, Xu S, et al., The origin of open-circuit voltage losses in perovskite solar cells investigated by surface photovoltage measurement, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, ISSN: 1944-8244
Increasing the open circuit voltage (Voc) is one of the key strategies for further improvement of the efficiency of perovskite solar cells. It requires fundamental understanding of the complex optoelectronic processes related to charge carrier generation, transport, extraction and their loss mechanisms inside a device upon illumination. Herein we report the important origin of Voc losses in methylammonium lead iodide perovskite (MAPI) based solar cells, which results from undesirable positive charge (hole) accumulation at the interface between the perovskite photoactive layer and the PEDOT:PSS hole transport layer. We show strong correlation between the thickness-dependent surface photovoltage and device performance, unraveling that the interfacial charge accumulation leads to charge carrier recombination and results in a large decrease in Voc for the PEDOT:PSS/MAPI inverted devices (180 mV reduction in 50-nm-thick device compared to 230-nm-thick one). In contrast, accumulated positive charges at the TiO2/MAPI interface modify interfacial energy band bending, which leads to an increase in Voc for the TiO2/MAPI conventional devices (70 mV increase in 50-nm-thick device compared to 230-nm-thick one). Our results provide an important guideline for better control of interfaces in perovskite solar cells to improve device performance further.
Francàs L, Corby S, Selim S, et al., 2019, Spectroelectrochemical study of water oxidation on nickel and iron oxyhydroxide electrocatalysts, Nature Communications, Vol: 10, ISSN: 2041-1723
Ni/Fe oxyhydroxides are the best performing Earth-abundant electrocatalysts for water oxidation. However, the origin of their remarkable performance is not well understood. Herein, we employ spectroelectrochemical techniques to analyse the kinetics of water oxidation on a series of Ni/Fe oxyhydroxide films: FeOOH, FeOOHNiOOH, and Ni(Fe)OOH (5% Fe). The concentrations and reaction rates of the oxidised states accumulated during catalysis are determined. Ni(Fe)OOH is found to exhibit the fastest reaction kinetics but accumulates fewer states, resulting in a similar performance to FeOOHNiOOH. The later catalytic onset in FeOOH is attributed to an anodic shift in the accumulation of oxidised states. Rate law analyses reveal that the rate limiting step for each catalyst involves the accumulation of four oxidised states, Ni-centred for Ni(Fe)OOH but Fe-centred for FeOOH and FeOOHNiOOH. We conclude by highlighting the importance of equilibria between these accumulated species and reactive intermediates in determining the activity of these materials.
Wu J, Luke J, Lee HKH, et al., 2019, Tail state limited photocurrent collection of thick photoactive layers in organic solar cells, Nature Communications, Vol: 10, ISSN: 2041-1723
Weanalyseorganic solar cells with four differentphotoactive blends exhibiting differing dependencies ofshort-circuit current upon photoactive layer thickness.These blends and devices are analysedbytransient optoelectronic techniques ofcarrier kinetics and densities, airphotoemission spectroscopyof material energetics, Kelvin probe measurements of work function, Mott-Schottky analyses of apparent doping density and by device modelling. We concludethat,for the device series studied, the photocurrent losswith thick active layersis primarilyassociatedwith the accumulation of photo-generated charge carriers in intra-bandgap tail states.This charge accumulation screens the device internal electricalfield, preventing efficient charge collection. Purification of one studied donor polymer is observed to reduce tail statedistribution anddensity and increase the maximal photoactive thickness forefficient operation. Ourwork suggests that selectingorganic photoactive layerswith a narrow distribution of tail states isa keyrequirement for the fabrication of efficient, high photocurrent, thick organic solar cells.
He Q, Shahid M, Wu J, et al., 2019, Fused Cyclopentadithienothiophene acceptor enables ultrahigh short‐circuit current and high efficiency >11% in as‐cast organic solar cells, Advanced Functional Materials, Vol: 29, Pages: 1-7, ISSN: 1616-301X
A new method to synthesize an electron‐rich building block cyclopentadithienothiophene (9H‐thieno‐[3,2‐b]thieno[2″,3″:4′,5′]thieno[2′,3′:3,4]cyclopenta[1,2‐d]thiophene, CDTT) via a facile aromatic extension strategy is reported. By combining CDTT with 1,1‐dicyanomethylene‐3‐indanone endgroups, a promising nonfullerene small molecule acceptor (CDTTIC) is prepared. As‐cast, single‐junction nonfullerene organic solar cells based on PFBDB‐T: CDTTIC blends exhibit very high short‐circuit currents up to 26.2 mA cm−2 in combination with power conversion efficiencies over 11% without any additional processing treatments. The high photocurrent results from the near‐infrared absorption of the CDTTIC acceptor and the well‐intermixed blend morphology of polymer donor PFBDB‐T and CDTTIC. This work demonstrates a useful fused ring extension strategy and promising solar cell results, indicating the great potential of the CDTT derivatives as electron‐rich building blocks for constructing high‐performance small molecule acceptors in organic solar cells.
Macdonald TJ, Batmunkh M, Lin C-T, et al., 2019, Origin of performance enhancement in TiO2-carbon nanotube composite perovskite solar cells, Small Methods, Vol: 3, Pages: 1-10, ISSN: 2366-9608
Carbon nanotubes are shown to be beneficial additives to perovskite solar cells, and the inclusion of such nanomaterials will continue to play a crucial role in the push toward developing efficient and stable device architectures. Herein, titanium dioxide/carbon nanotube composite perovskite solar cells are fabricated, and device performance parameters are correlated with spectroscopic signatures of the materials to understand the origin of performance enhancement. By probing the charge carrier dynamics with photoluminescence and femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopy, the results indicate that charge transfer is not improved by the presence of the carbon nanotubes. Instead, carbon nanotubes are shown to passivate the electronic defect states within the titanium dioxide, which can lead to stronger radiative recombination in the titanium dioxide/carbon nanotube films. The defect passivation allows the perovskite solar cells made using an optimized titanium dioxide/carbon nanotube composite to achieve a peak power conversion efficiency of 20.4% (19% stabilized), which is one of the highest values reported for perovskite solar cells not incorporating a mixed cation light absorbing layer. The results discuss new fundamental understandings for the role of carbon nanomaterials in perovskite solar cells and present a significant step forward in advancing the field of high‐performance photovoltaics.
Sung MJ, Hong J, Cha H, et al., 2019, Acene-Modified Small-Molecule Donors for Organic Photovoltaics, Chemistry - A European Journal, Vol: 25, ISSN: 0947-6539
© 2019 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim Invited for the cover of this issue is the group of Tae Kyu An at the Korea National University of Transportation, Soon-Ki Kwon and Yun-Hi Kim at the Gyeongsang National University. The image depicts organic photovoltaics, in which fused acene cores have been used to modulate the conjugation lengths and the bulk heterojunction morphologies. Read the full text of the article at 10.1002/chem.201902177.
Corby S, Pastor E, Dong Y, et al., 2019, Charge separation, band-bending, and recombination in WO3 photoanodes, Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, Vol: 10, Pages: 5395-5401, ISSN: 1948-7185
In metal oxide-based photoelectrochemical devices, the spatial separation of photogenerated electrons and holes is typically attributed to band-bending at the oxide/electrolyte interface. However, direct evidence of such band-bending impacting upon charge carrier lifetimes has been very limited to date. Herein we use ultrafast spectroscopy to track the rapid relaxation of holes in the space-charge layer and their recombination with trapped electrons in WO3 photoanodes. We observe that applied bias can significantly increase carrier lifetimes on all time scales from picoseconds to seconds and attribute this to enhanced band-bending correlated with changes in oxygen vacancy state occupancy. We show that analogous enhancements in carrier lifetimes can be obtained by changes in electrolyte composition, even in the absence of applied bias, highlighting routes to improve photoconversion yields/performance, through changes in band-bending. This study thus demonstrates the direct connection between carrier lifetime enhancement, increased band-bending, and oxygen vacancy defect state occupancy.
Luo H, Papaioannou N, Salvadori E, et al., 2019, Manipulating the Optical Properties of Carbon Dots by Fine-Tuning their Structural Features, CHEMSUSCHEM, Vol: 12, Pages: 4480-4486, ISSN: 1864-5631
Bakulin A, Pastor E, Park J-S, et al., 2019, In situ observation of picosecond polaron self-localisation in α-Fe2O3 photoelectrochemical cells, Nature Communications, Vol: 10, ISSN: 2041-1723
Hematite (α-Fe2O3) is the most studied artificial oxygen-evolving photo-anode and yet its efficiency limitations and their origin remain unknown. A sub-picosecond reorganisation of the hematite structure has been proposed as the mechanism which dictates carrier lifetimes, energetics and the ultimate conversion yields. However, the importance of this reorganisation for actual device performance is unclear. Here we report an in situ observation of charge carrier self-localisation in a hematite device, and demonstrate that this process affects recombination losses in photoelectrochemical cells. We apply an ultrafast, device-based optical-control method to resolve the subpicosecond formation of small polarons and estimate their reorganisation energy to be ~0.5 eV. Coherent oscillations in the photocurrent signals indicate that polaron formation may be coupled to specific phonon modes (<100 cm-1). Our results bring together spectroscopic and device characterisation approaches to reveal new photophysics of broadly-studied hematite devices.
Wang Y, Vogel A, Sachs M, et al., 2019, Current understanding and challenges of solar-driven hydrogen generation using polymeric photocatalysts, Nature Energy, Vol: 4, Pages: 746-760, ISSN: 2058-7546
The use of hydrogen as a fuel, when generated from water using semiconductor photocatalysts and driven by sunlight, is a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. Polymeric photocatalysts are based on Earth-abundant elements and have the advantage over their inorganic counterparts in that their electronic properties are easily tuneable through molecular engineering. Polymeric photocatalysts have developed rapidly over the past decade, resulting in the discovery of many active materials. However, our understanding of the key properties underlying their photoinitiated redox processes has not kept pace, and this impedes further progress to generate cost-competitive technologies. Here, we discuss state-of-the-art polymeric photocatalysts and our microscopic understanding of their activities. We conclude with a discussion of five outstanding challenges in this field: non-standardized reporting of activities, limited photochemical stability, insufficient knowledge of reaction mechanisms, balancing charge carrier lifetimes with catalysis timescales and the use of unsustainable sacrificial reagents.
Pont S, Osella S, Smith A, et al., 2019, Evidence for strong and weak phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester photodimer populations in organic solar cells, Chemistry of Materials, Vol: 31, Pages: 6076-6083, ISSN: 0897-4756
In polymer/fullerene organic solar cells, the photochemical dimerization of phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) was reported to have either a beneficial or a detrimental effect on device performance and stability. In this work, we investigate the behavior of such dimers by measuring the temperature dependence of the kinetics of PCBM de-dimerization as a function of prior light intensity and duration. Our data reveal the presence of both “weakly” and “strongly” bound dimers, with higher light intensities preferentially generating the latter. DFT simulations corroborate our experimental findings and suggest a distribution of dimer binding energies, correlated with the orientation of the fullerene tail with respect to the dimer bonds on the cage. These results provide a framework to rationalize the double-edged effects of PCBM dimerization on the stability of organic solar cells.
Way A, Luke J, Evans AD, et al., 2019, Fluorine doped tin oxide as an alternative of indium tin oxide for bottom electrode of semi-transparent organic photovoltaic devices, AIP Advances, Vol: 9, Pages: 085220-1-085220-5, ISSN: 2158-3226
Indium tin oxide (ITO) is commonly used as the transparent bottom electrode for organic solar cells. However, it is known that the cost ofthe ITO is quite high due to the indium element, and in some studies ITO coated glass substrate is found to be the most expensive componentof device fabrication. Moreover, indium migration from ITO can cause stability issues in organic solar cells. Nevertheless, the use of ITO asthe bottom electrode is still dominating in the field. Here, we explore the possibility of using fluorine doped tin oxide (FTO) as an alternativeto ITO for the bottom electrode of organic solar cells particularly on semi-transparent cells. We present side-by-side comparisons on theiroptical, morphological and device properties and suggest that FTO could be more suitable than ITO as the bottom electrode for glass substratebased organic photovoltaic devices.
Sung MJ, Hong J, Cha H, et al., 2019, Acene-Modified Small-Molecule Donors for Organic Photovoltaics, CHEMISTRY-A EUROPEAN JOURNAL, Vol: 25, Pages: 12316-12324, ISSN: 0947-6539
Jain SM, Edvinsson T, Durrant JR, 2019, Green fabrication of stable lead-free bismuth based perovskite solar cells using a non-toxic solvent, Communications Chemistry, Vol: 2, Pages: 1-7, ISSN: 2399-3669
The very fast evolution in certified efficiency of lead-halide organic-inorganic perovskite solar cells to 24.2%, on par and even surpassing the record for polycrystalline silicon solar cells (22.3%), bears the promise of a new era in photovoltaics and revitalisation of thin film solar cell technologies. However, the presence of toxic lead and particularly toxic solvents during the fabrication process makes large-scale manufacturing of perovskite solar cells challenging due to legislation and environment issues. For lead-free alternatives, non-toxic tin, antimony and bismuth based solar cells still rely on up-scalable fabrication processes that employ toxic solvents. Here we employ non-toxic methyl-acetate solution processed (CH3NH3)3Bi2I9 films to fabricate lead-free, bismuth based (CH3NH3)3Bi2I9 perovskites on mesoporous TiO2 architecture using a sustainable route. Optoelectronic characterization, X-ray diffraction and electron microscopy show that the route can provide homogeneous and good quality (CH3NH3)3Bi2I9 films. Fine-tuning the perovskite/hole transport layer interface by the use of conventional 2,2′,7,7′-tetrakis (N,N′-di-p-methoxyphenylamino)−9,9′-spirbiuorene, known as Spiro-OMeTAD, and poly(3-hexylthiophene-2,5-diyl - P3HT as hole transporting materials, yields power conversion efficiencies of 1.12% and 1.62% under 1 sun illumination. Devices prepared using poly(3-hexylthiophene-2,5-diyl hole transport layer shown 300 h of stability under continuous 1 sun illumination, without the use of an ultra violet-filter.
Speller EM, Clarke AJ, Luke J, et al., 2019, From fullerene acceptors to non-fullerene acceptors: prospects and challenges in the stability of organic solar cells, Journal of Materials Chemistry A, ISSN: 2050-7488
<p>This review highlights the opportunities and challenges in stability of organic solar cells arising from the emergence of non-fullerene acceptors.</p>
Cha H, Fish G, Luke J, et al., 2019, Suppression of Recombination Losses in Polymer:Nonfullerene Acceptor Organic Solar Cells due to Aggregation Dependence of Acceptor Electron Affinity, ADVANCED ENERGY MATERIALS, Vol: 9, ISSN: 1614-6832
Du T, Xu W, Daboczi M, et al., 2019, p-Doping of organic hole transport layers in p–i–n perovskite solar cells: correlating open-circuit voltage and photoluminescence quenching, Journal of Materials Chemistry A, Vol: 7, Pages: 18971-18979, ISSN: 2050-7488
Doping is a widely implemented strategy for enhancing the inherent electronic properties of charge transport layers in photovoltaic (PV) devices. Here, in direct contrast to existing understanding, we find that a reduction in p-doping of the organic hole transport layer (HTL) leads to substantial improvements in PV performance in planar p–i–n perovskite solar cells (PSCs), driven by improvements in open circuit voltage (VOC). Employing a range of transient and steady state characterisation tools, we find that the improvements of VOC correlate with reduced surface recombination losses in less p-doped HTLs. A simple device model including screening of bulk electric fields in the perovskite layer is used to explain this observation. In particular, photoluminescence (PL) emission of complete solar cells shows that efficient performance is correlated to a high PL intensity at open circuit and a low PL intensity at short circuit. We conclude that desirable transport layers for p–i–n PSCs should be charge selective contacts with low doping densities.
Yang W, Godin R, Kasap H, et al., 2019, Electron accumulation induces efficiency bottleneck for hydrogen production in carbon nitride photocatalysts, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol: 141, Pages: 11219-11229, ISSN: 1520-5126
This study addresses the light intensity dependence of charge accumulation in a photocatalyst suspension, and its impact on both charge recombination kinetics and steady-state H2 evolution efficiency. Cyanamide surface functionalized melon-type carbon nitride (NCNCNx) has been selected as an example of emerging carbon nitrides photocatalysts because of its excellent charge storage ability. Transient spectroscopic studies (from ps to s) show that the bimolecular recombination of photogenerated electrons and holes in NCNCNx can be well described by a random walk model. Remarkably, the addition of hole scavengers such as 4-methylbenzyl alcohol can lead to ∼400-fold faster recombination kinetics (lifetime shortening to ∼10 ps). We show that this acceleration is not the direct result of ultrafast hole extraction by the scavenger, but is rather caused by long-lived electron accumulation in NCNCNx after hole extraction. The dispersive pseudo-first order recombination kinetics become controlled by the density of accumulated electrons. H2 production and steady-state spectroscopic measurements indicate that the accelerated recombination caused by electron accumulation limits the H2 generation efficiency. The addition of a reversible electron acceptor and mediator, methyl viologen (MV2+), accelerates the extraction of electrons from the NCNCNx and increases the H2 production efficiency under one sun irradiation by more than 30%. These results demonstrate quantitatively that while long-lived electrons are essential to drive photoinduced H2 generation in many photocatalysts, excessive electron accumulation may result in accelerated recombination losses and lower performance, and thus highlight the importance of efficient electron and hole extraction in enabling efficient water splitting photocatalysts.
Aitchison CM, Andrei V, Antón-García D, et al., 2019, Synthetic approaches to artificial photosynthesis: general discussion., Faraday Discuss, Vol: 215, Pages: 242-281
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