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Analysis of Metal-Oxide Protected Photoelectrochemical Systems for Water Splitting


Lichterman, Michael Yang (2018) Analysis of Metal-Oxide Protected Photoelectrochemical Systems for Water Splitting. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/aq89-jv13.


The photoelectrochemical splitting of water into oxygen and hydrogen gas is one pathway toward the renewable and economic generation of a fuel which is sufficiently scalable to power a large fraction, or even a majority, of the power requirements of modern society. In order to make such a device economically promising, it must be sufficiently cheap, have sufficiently high efficiency, or some combination thereof. In this work, two primary routes toward such a device are discussed; the first is the use of a cheaply prepared photoanode material, BiVO4, the interactions of this material with cobalt oxide based catalysts, and the use of such structures in more extreme pH ranges than have previous been reported. The second route details the application of a protective layer, TiO2, on otherwise unstable materials such as GaP and CdTe when operated as photoanodes in alkaline media. The further work herein applies operando ambientpressure x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (AP-XPS) to understand the nature of the energetics which allow conduction in the aforementioned TiO2, as well as other energetics in the electrochemical double layer in the adjacent electrolyte. Further experiments using Raman spectroscopy on associated III-V photoanode devices are also described.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Photoelectrochemistry, Atomic Layer Deposition, Thin Films, Corrosion
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
Major Option:Chemistry
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Lewis, Nathan Saul (co-advisor)
  • Gray, Harry B. (co-advisor)
Thesis Committee:
  • Grubbs, Robert H. (chair)
  • Weitekamp, Daniel P.
  • Brunschwig, Bruce S.
  • Lewis, Nathan Saul
  • Gray, Harry B.
Defense Date:16 April 2018
Funding AgencyGrant Number
US Department of EnergyDE-SC0004993
US Department of EnergyDE-AC02-05CH11231
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:06122018-090745040
Persistent URL:
Lichterman, Michael Yang0000-0002-0710-7068
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:11075
Deposited By: Michael Lichterman
Deposited On:12 Jun 2018 20:02
Last Modified:08 Nov 2023 18:46

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