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Nanostructured MoS2 and WS2 for the Solar Production of Hydrogen


Thomas Jaramillo, Chemical Engineering, Stanford University


Hydrogen production from photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting has been extensively investigated in the last few decades following the first experimental demonstrations using TiO2-based photoanodes. The realization of efficient and cost-effective PEC systems requires the identification of material candidates with the following properties: optimal bandgap for improved solar absorption; band edges aligned with the energy levels required for the redox water splitting reaction; sufficient carrier mobility for the photogenerated charges to reach the electrode/water interface before recombination; stability against corrosion; optimal catalytic properties for H2 and O2 evolution; and low cost. This exploratory program aims at investigating the potential of nanostructured earth-abundant, non-toxic dichalcogenide semiconductors (molybdenum and tungsten disulfides) where bulk and surface properties could be tailored independently to satisfy the above criteria by controlling their nanostructure.

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