Molybdenum Disulfide as a Protection Layer and Catalyst for Gallium Indium Phosphide Solar Water Splitting Photocathodes

Reuben J. Britto, Jesse D. Benck, James L. Young, Christopher Hahn, Todd G. Deutsch, Thomas F. Jaramillo
Year of publication: 
Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters

Gallium indium phosphide (GaInP2) is a semiconductor with promising optical and electronic properties for solar water splitting, but its surface stability is problematic as it undergoes significant chemical and electrochemical corrosion in aqueous electrolytes. Molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) nanomaterials are promising to both protect GaInP2 and to improve catalysis because MoS2 is resistant to corrosion and also possesses high activity for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). In this work, we demonstrate that GaInP2 photocathodes coated with thin MoS2 surface protecting layers exhibit excellent activity and stability for solar hydrogen production, with no loss in performance (photocurrent onset potential, fill factor, and light-limited current density) after 60 h of operation. This represents a 500-fold increase in stability compared to bare p-GaInP2 samples tested in identical conditions.

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