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P4.04 - Piezoelectric Potential Enhanced Oxygen Evolution Reaction 
April 8, 2015   8:45am - 9:00am

Lowering the overpotential required for driving oxygen evolution reaction (OER) is crucial for practically generating hydrogen from water splitting process. Besides developing effective and non-noble electrocatalysts, integrating the catalyst with silicon and III-IV semiconductors based photoanodes is a popular strategy to achieve this goal. However, they are always suffering from the poor stability and induce light limited anodic current, which is substantially smaller than the diffusion limited anodic current. Piezotronics have been frequently adopted to engineer the interfacial electronic band structure of heterojunctions to enhance charge generation, separation and transportation. Here, we propose to use the piezoelectric potential generated by sputtering ZnO film to decrease the external overpotential required for the OER with e-beam evaporated nickel film as the electrocatalyst. The piezo-induced positive charge on the adjacent surface of nickel film can presumably lower the electron energy level of Ni/NiOx film and thus facilitate the oxidizing reaction. It has been found that piezoelectric potential could also enhance charge delivering between ZnO film and ITO. Significantly larger current density and long term stability are expected by replacing ZnO with other ceramic piezomaterials like PMNPT or PZT. This approach could render a new pathway for efficient and practical water splitting.

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