467973 Modeling the Sensitivity of Design Parameters for Photo-Electrochemical Cells Containing a Semiconductor Absorber and Metal Photocatalysts

Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Grand Ballroom B (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Joseph Quinn1, Paul Hernley1, Steven Chavez1 and Suljo Linic2, (1)Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, (2)Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, MI

The magnitudes of energetic losses in photo-electrochemical cells are highly dependent on the nature of the semiconductor, electrocatalyst and the integration of these two building blocks. For example, one can reduce overpotential losses with the addition of an electrocatalyst, while at the same time diminishing the optical efficiency of photon to useful electron conversion. The interconnected nature of energetic losses in photo-electrochemical devices creates challenges in the design of systems that reduce losses simultaneously.

In this contribution, we present a model that integrates optical and kinetic properties for photo-electrochemical cells. We have applied this model to analyze the sensitivity of various experimental parameters on system performance. Provided with these insights we will discuss the most significant parameters, and suggest where research efforts can make the largest impact in improving efficiencies in photo-electrochemical cells.

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