A Taiwanese research team has developed a new photoelectric hydrogen production technology featuring the combination of an ultra-thin graphene and silicon substrate, which can convert solar energy to hydrogen fuel.
The team has delved into the research on this technology to solve the bottleneck for the development of solar energy caused by the problems of storage and transportation. Its members include professor Chen Chun-wei of National Taiwan University, professor Huang Ping-chao of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, and assistant professor Wang Ti-yien ofTunghai University.
The employment of solar energy in hydrogen production systems via the electrolysis of water has emerged as a mainstream technology in recent years, and is currently being studied by many laboratories worldwide. The aforementioned Taiwanese research team has attempted to make improvements to these systems by employing a specially designed architecture which uses an ultra-thin graphene layer and a silicon substrate to create a Schottky Junction; According to the research team, the unique structure of the graphene and Si Schottky junction can be used to improve the overall performance and stability of hydrogen production systems.
Functioning as a protective shield for silicon substrates, the ultra-thin graphene layer features high charge carrier mobility, high transparency, and high anti-acid, -alkali, and -corrosion properties. The Taiwanese research team had utilized EVA to transfer-print the graphene onto a substrate with nano structure to form the Schottky Junction between the graphene and silicon. The presence of the newly formed Schottky Junction would enable the carrier to be separated and can increase the overall absorption rate for sunshine to 20%; additionally, it can help to lower the silicon’s reflectivity, which will boost the overall performance for hydrogen production.
The paper on the aforementioned study can be seen in the journal, “Advanced Energy Materials.”