Scientists examine interfacial interactions of lead-free perovskites for reliable hydrogen manufacturing

Jan 18, 2023 12:44 PM ET
  • A research team from City University of Hong Kong (CityU), Curtin University, National Taiwan University, Huazhong University of Science as well as Technology, Nankai University as well as Polish Academy of Sciences recently developed a lead-free perovskite photocatalyst that delivers extremely effective solar energy-to-hydrogen conversion.

The group introduced the interfacial dynamics of solid-solid (between halide perovskite molecules) and solid-liquid (between a halide perovskite as well as an electrolyte) interfaces during photoelectrochemical hydrogen production. The latest searchings for open an avenue to create an extra effective solar-driven method for generating hydrogen fuel in the future.

Hydrogen is taken into consideration to be a much better and also extra appealing renewable energy alternative as a result of its wealth, high energy density, and environmental friendliness. In addition to photoelectrochemical water splitting, one more appealing method of producing hydrogen is by splitting hydrohalic acid making use of solar-driven photocatalysts. However the long-lasting stability of photocatalysts is a crucial challenge, as most catalysts constructed from transition metal oxides or metal are unsteady under acidic conditions.

" Lead-based hybrid perovskites are made use of to overcome this security issue, but the high solubility in water as well as toxicity of lead limits their potential for widespread applications," described Dr. Sam Hsu Hsien-Yi, Assistant Professor in the School of Energy as well as Environment as well as the Department of Materials Science and also Engineering at CityU. "Bismuth-based perovskites, in contrast, have actually been verified to supply a non-toxic, chemically stable option for solar-fuel applications, yet the photocatalytic efficiency needs to be boosted."

Inspired to develop an efficient as well as stable photocatalyst, Dr. Hsu and his collaborators recently established a bismuth-based halide perovskite with a framework of bandgap funneling for very reliable charge-carrier transport. It is a mixed-halide perovskite, in which the distribution of iodide ions progressively decreases from the surface to the interior, forming a bandgap funnel structure, which promotes a photo-induced charge transfer from the interior to the surface for an efficient photocatalytic redox reaction. This freshly designed perovskite has high solar power conversion performance, displaying a hydrogen generation rate boosted as much as about 341 ± 61.7 µmol h − 1 with a platinum co-catalyst under visible light irradiation. The findings were published half a year earlier.

" We wanted to explore the dynamic interactions between the halide perovskite molecules and also those at the interface between the photoelectrode as well as the electrolyte, which continued to be unidentified," stated Dr. Hsu. "Since photoelectrochemical hydrogen production includes a catalytic process, extremely reliable hydrogen generation can be attained by extreme light absorption utilizing a semiconductor as a photocatalyst with an ideal energy band structure as well as reliable charge separation, facilitated by an external electrical area formed near the semiconductor-liquid interface."

To discover the exciton transfer dynamics, the team used temperature-dependent time-resolved photoluminescence to analyze the energy transportation of electron-hole pairs between the perovskite molecules. They additionally assessed the diffusion coefficient and electron transfer rate constant of halide perovskite materials in the service to illustrate the effectiveness of electron transport through the solid-liquid interfaces between a perovskite-based photoelectrode as well as the electrolyte. "We demonstrated just how our newly designed photocatalyst can successfully achieve high-performance photoelectrochemical hydrogen generation as a result of effective charge transfer," claimed Dr. Hsu.

In the experiment, the team likewise verified that bandgap funneling organized halide perovskites had a much more effective charge separation as well as transfer process between the interface of the electrode and electrolyte. The improved charge separation can drive the migration of charge carriers onto the surface area of halide perovskites transferred on the conductive glasses as the photoelectrode, allowing quicker photoelectrochemical task on the photoelectrode's surface. Consequently, the effective charge transfer inside the bandgap funnel structured halide perovskites showed enhanced photocurrent density under light irradiation.

" Uncovering the interfacial dynamics of these novel materials during the process of photoelectrochemical hydrogen generation is an important development," discussed Dr. Hsu. "A comprehensive understanding of the interfacial interactions between halide perovskites and also liquid electrolytes can construct a clinical structure for researchers in this field to even more explore the development of choice and valuable materials for solar-induced hydrogen manufacturing."

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