Organic photoelectrochemical cells for solar fuel production

7 08 2014

Organic donor-acceptor blends like P3HT-PCBM have been greatly improved in recent years providing high efficiency and stable solar cells. These materials are cheap and versatile. They can be very promising for the production of solar fuels. To this aim the photocurrent must be extracted to an electrolyte to produce the required chemical reactions in solution. This is different than the normal operation of PV cells with two solid contacts. We have developed an important step in this direction showing that the photocurrent of standard organic blends can be extracted quantitatively to a liquid contact for either oxidative or reductive action. We show the extraction of 4 mA cm2 in an organic photoelectrochemcial cell (OPEC) which is the same that the solar cell produces at 1 sun without reflective back layer. This is just a first step , as it is required to find suitable catalytic/protective layers at the organic/liquid interface for water splitting or CO2 reduction, say. But we believe there is a great potential in this system for solar energy conversion.

Organic photoelectrochemical cells with quantitative photocarrier conversion

Antonio Guerrero,   Marta Haro,   Sebastiano Bellani,  Maria Rosa Antognazza,   Laura Meda,   Sixto Gimenez and  Juan Bisquert  
Energy Environ. Sci., 2014

DOI: 10.1039/C4EE01775G
First published online 07 Aug 2014

EES 10 1039C4EE01775G

 

 


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