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NSF: Photoelectrochemical Films for Solar H2 Production: A Combinatorial CVD Approach

Sheryl Ehrman

Funding Agency 

National Science Foundation

Description 

Since the original demonstration of photo-assisted water electrolysis by Fujishima and Honda in 1972, tremendous effort has gone into developing photoelectrochemical (PEC) materials and systems. Numerous research programs have focused on improving the efficiency of these devices, and of those that have been successful, few have addressed the issue of whether such devices would be practical or environmentally desirable to manufacture on the scale necessary to impact the US's energy requirements.

The PIs plan to develop new semiconductor materials and solar cell devices for the production of hydrogen by the PEC decomposition of water with a manufacturing and product lifecycle perspective. The PEC materials development program builds directly on the complementary skills of the project PIs: the Adomaitis group's combinatorial chemical vapor deposition (CVD) reactor designs for material property and manufacturability optimization, and the Ehrman group's expertise in developing nanostructured films of doped copper oxide for PEC applications by flame synthesis and other manufacturing techniques.

The outcomes of this research program have the potential to broadly impact green manufacturing and energy production technologies.

Photoelectrochemical Films for Solar H2 Production: A Combinatorial CVD Approach is a four-year, $325K grant.