80th Annual Conference of the DPG & DPG Spring Meeting (Regensburg, Germany)


  • Regensburg Germany

Matthias Richter, "Probing the TiO2/Liquid Interface of a Photoelectrochemical Cell by X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy"

Amorphous TiO2 coatings can stabilize semiconductor photoanodes such as Si, GaAs, and GaP that are otherwise unstable in aqueous media [1]. Using tender X-rays with their substantially increased inelastic mean free scattering length of photoelectrons and using the classical three-electrode potentiostatic arrangement allows one to follow of the influence of the applied potentials on the semiconductor electrode energetics such as band bending and band edge shifts directly [2, 3]. The observed shifts in binding energy with respect to the applied potential have directly revealed rectifying junction behavior on semiconducting samples. Accumulation, depletion and Fermi level pinning were observed. Additionally, the non-linear response of the core level binding energies to changes in the applied electrode potential has revealed the influence of defect-derived electronic states on the Galvani potential across the complete cell. [1] Science 344 (2014) 1005; [2] Sci Rep 5 (2015) 9788; [3] Ener & Env Sci 8 (2015) 2409

Matthias Richter, "An Electrochemical, resonant Photoemission and Ambient Pressure-X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopic Investigation of Si/TiO2/Ni/Electrolyte Interfaces"

Photoelectrochemical cells based on semiconductor-liquid interfaces provide a method of converting solar energy to electricity or fuels. Recently, we have demonstrated operational systems that involved stabilized semiconductor-liquid junctions [1]. The electrical and spectroscopic properties of the TiO2/Ni protection layer system have been investigated in contact with electrolyte solutions [2, 3, 4]. From the response of the photoelectron binding energies to variations in applied potential the energetics of the solid/electrolyte interface are elucidated. The degree of conductivity depended on the chemical state of the Ni on the TiO2 surface. The combinations of these techniques provide a powerful tool for the investigation of hybrid electrode/solution contacts. [1] Science 344 (2014) 1005; [2] Sci Rep 5 (2015) 9788; [3] Ener & Env Sci 8 (2015) 2409; [4] J Electrochem Soc 162 (2016) H1

Matthias Richter, "Experimental Approach for Determining Semiconductor/liquid Junction Energetics by Operando Ambient-Pressure X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy" (poster)

The performance of a photoelectrochemical solar cell depends strongly on the electrochemical nature of the semiconductor/electrolyte junction [1]. Operando Ambient Pressure X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy investigation of semiconductor/liquid junctions provides quantitative understanding of the energy bands in these photoelectrochemical solar cells [2, 3, 4]. We demonstrate how OAP-XPS may be used to determine these relationships for semiconductor/liquid systems. The data can be analyzed to determine the energy relationship between the electronic energy bands in the semiconductor electrode and the redox levels in the solution. The major conditions for semiconductor-electrolyte contacts including accumulation, depletion, and Fermi-level pinning are observed, and the so-called flat-band energy can be determined. [1] Science 344 (2014) 1005; [2] Sci Rep 5 (2015) 9788; [3] Ener & Env Sci 8 (2015) 2409; [4] J Electrochem Soc 162 (2016) H1