Using solar energy to split water provides an efficient way for large scale renewable energy conversion and storage. A group of researchers fromĀ TUDelftĀ andĀ AMOLFĀ have successfully developed an efficient and stable photo-electrode that could improve water splitting with solar energy.WATER SPLITTING WITH SOLAR ENERGY

ThisĀ photoelectrodeĀ absorbs lightĀ and directly decomposes water into hydrogen and oxygen. In addition to the efficiency, the system is also cheap because of usingĀ silicon wafers as the light absorbing material.

The Process

PhotoelectrochemicalĀ (PEC) splitting of water is a direct conversionĀ of solar to chemical energy to produce renewable and clean fuel. The hydrogen, for example, can be used directly in fuel cells, orĀ combined with other molecules to create durable materials.

Together with colleagues fromĀ AMOLFĀ (Amsterdam), we have engineered a photo-electrode, a material that absorbs light and directly splits water, that has a very high efficiency and over 200 hours of stabilityā€™, says Wilson Smith, Associate Professor in theĀ Department of Chemical Engineering at TU Delft. ā€˜This is remarkable in a field where people normally show only a few hours of stability.Ā  We use silicon wafers as the light absorbing material, so the photoelectrode is also very cheap.

Researchers had also designed a new insulator layer toĀ stabilize the semiconductor (Si) photo-electrode, while keeping the high efficiency of water splitting by using two metals. This approach known as makingĀ a metal-insulator-semiconductor (MIS) junction. It is a simple system that combines the stability and catalysis bottlenecks in photoelectrochemical water splitting.

For more information, the researchers had published this researchĀ inĀ Nature Communications.


About The Author

Ibrar Ayyub

I am an experienced technical writer with a Master's degree in computer science from BZU Multan University. I have written for various industries, mainly home automation, and engineering. I have a clear and simple writing style and am skilled in using infographics and diagrams. I am a great researcher and is able to present information in a well-organized and logical manner.