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Improved Stability and Performance of Visible Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting on Solution-Processed Organic Semiconductor Thin Films by Ultrathin Metal Oxide Passivation

Solution-processable organic semiconductors have potentials as visible photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting photoelectrodes due to their tunable small band gap and electronic energy levels, but they are typically limited by poor stability and photocatalytic activity. Here, we demonstrate the direct visible PEC water oxidation on solution-processed organic semiconductor thin films with improved stability and performance by ultrathin metal oxide passivation layers. N-type fullerene-derivative thin films passivated by sub-2 nm ZnO via atomic layer deposition enabled the visible PEC water oxidation at wavelengths longer than 600 nm in harsh alkaline electrolyte environments with up to 30 μA/cm2 photocurrents at the thermodynamic water-oxidation equilibrium potential and the photoanode half-lifetime extended to ∼1000 s. The systematic investigation reveals the enhanced water oxidation catalytic activity afforded by ZnO passivation and the charge tunneling governing the hole transfer through passivation l...

Authors:   Lei Wang; Danhua Yan; David W. Shaffer; Xinyi Ye; Bobby H. Layne; Javier J. Concepcion; Mingzhao Liu; Chang-Yong Nam
Journal:   Chemistry of Materials
Year:   2018
DOI:   10.1021/acs.chemmater.7b02889
Publication date:   11-Jan-2018
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