462411 Tungsten Oxide Decorated Zinc Telluride for the Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting

Tuesday, November 15, 2016: 12:30 PM
Golden Gate 4 (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Chengeto Kazuva, Rekisha Pootoon and Jonathan Mbah, Chemical Engineering, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, FL

Due to the increasing adverse effects on greener energy impacted by fossil fuel dependency and the resulting consequences on energy sustainability, a more succinct approach becomes inevitable for the continuous supply of clean and renewable energy. Tungsten Oxide (WO3) has exhibited high photoactivities and electrochromic capabilities in the search for durable materials for hydrogen (H2) production from photoelectrochemical water (H2O) splitting. With a bandgap of 2.6 eV makes it an excellent candidate for harvesting the blue light of the solar spectrum with improved efficiency. Various experimental investigations have shown that electrochemically deposited WO3 can be used to this effect. Sensitization with organic dyes that possess sunlight trapping capabilities have also been employed to enhance the performance of WO3 as a photo catalyst for H2O splitting. The successes in dye sensitization suggest that another metal compound, zinc telluride (ZnTe), which has an appropriate bandgap alignment for high utilization of the visible light of the solar spectrum can be used as a sensitizer as well. The fact that this material has not been studied in great detail in conjunction with WO3 usage, makes it an interesting candidate of study in improving the performance of WO3 as a photocathode for H2 production. This material has a suitable bandgap of 2.26 eV for light harvesting and its conduction band edge positioned at -1.63 eV offers a large driving force for interfacial electron transfer from the semiconductor to the WO3 acceptor. The objective of this work is to study the contribution of WO3 decorated ZnTe in the splitting of H2O. We will present the result of our investigation on cathodic electrodeposition of WO3-ZnTe thin film on indium-tin oxide substrate, with its catalytic properties as an electrode for H2 production.

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