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D7.07 - Artificial Photosynthetic Heterostructure Electrode with Dual Functionalities: Water Splitting and Charge Storage 
April 24, 2014   3:45pm - 4:00pm

Artificial photosynthesis for a sustainable energy economy is considered as Holy Grail of chemistry whereby water splitting reaction is controlled in the context of Natural photosynthetic process. The main objective of the current investigation is to build a solar fuel generator which is economically viable and operative with and without sunlight. That is to make it functioning during day and night. For achieving the same, we have a developed low cost hydrothermal fabrication route for making thin film electrode of NiO/Ni (OH) 2 functionalized hematite. The photoanode heterostructure to be presented here is very efficient for good hydrogen gas evolution in both dark and light condition. The electrode is prepared by a “two reactor’’ hydrothermal modification of a pristine hematite film. The electrode shows a promising photocurrent density of 16mA/cm2 at overpotential of 0.37 V. In addition to this, the electrode shows charge storage capacity once exposed to light and with an application of anodic bias above 400mV in parallel with electrochromic behavior. Also, the water splitting reaction proceeds as a dark reaction after several hours of light exposure. We believe the abrupt increase in current density originates from the oxidized Ni (OH)2 layer which is absent in the case of pn-junction-like devices made by mere deposition of NiO on hematite by thermal annealing. On the other hand, hematite alone does not show such behavior. From gas-chromatographic analysis, the electrode evolves 1.85mmol/L of hydrogen after first 15 minute of operation. Finally, this kind of new PEC electrode offers a low-cost and simple way for the dual purpose applications of water splitting and charge storage.

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Keynote Address
Panel Discussion - Different Approaches to Commercializing Materials Research
Business Challenges to Starting a Materials-Based Company
Fred Kavli Distinguished Lectureship in Nanoscience
Application of In-situ X-ray Absorption, Emission and Powder Diffraction Studies in Nanomaterials Research - From the Design of an In-situ Experiment to Data Analysis