Flexible InGaN nanowire membranes for enhanced solar water splitting

Rami T. Elafandy, Rami T. Elafandy, Jung-Wook Min, Chao Zhao, Tien Khee Ng, Boon S. Ooi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

III-Nitride nanowires (NWs) have recently emerged as potential photoelectrodes for efficient solar hydrogen generation. While InGaN NWs epitaxy over silicon is required for high crystalline quality and economic production, it leads to the formation of the notorious silicon nitride insulating interface as well as low electrical conductivity which both impede excess charge carrier dynamics and overall device performance. We tackle this issue by developing, for the first time, a substrate-free InGaN NWs membrane photoanodes, through liftoff and transfer techniques, where excess charge carriers are efficiently extracted from the InGaN NWs through a proper ohmic contact formed with a high electrical conductivity metal stack membrane. As a result, compared to conventional InGaN NWs on silicon, the fabricated free-standing flexible membranes showed a 10-fold increase in the generated photocurrent as well as a 0.8 V cathodic shift in the onset potential. Through electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, accompanied with TEM-based analysis, we further demonstrated the detailed enhancement within excess charge carrier dynamics of the photoanode membranes. This novel configuration in photoelectrodes demonstrates a novel pathway for enhancing the performance of III-nitrides photoelectrodes to accelerate their commercialization for solar water splitting.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)A640
JournalOptics Express
Volume26
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - May 30 2018

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