Amorphous TiO 2 coatings stabilize Si, GaAs, and GaP photoanodes for efficient water oxidationShu Hu, Matthew R. Shaner, Joseph A. Beardslee, Michael Lichterman, Bruce S. Brunschwig, Nathan S. Lewis
Keeping semiconductors safe from harm
Solar cells harvest the energy of sunlight to create electricity, but electricity is hard to store. Solar cells could also be used to make hydrogen from water, which can be stored as a fuel. Separating water into hydrogen and oxygen, however, presents challenges, especially if this is done directly by illuminating the anode that oxides water. Under the acidic or alkaline conditions needed for practical devices, semiconducting anode materials corrode during operation. Hu et al. now show that amorphous titanium dioxide coatings can protect semiconductors from alkaline corrosion while still allowing light through.
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