Scientific Achievement

TaOx is an efficient and stable electron transport layer (ETL), enabling selective, solar-driven, photoelectrochemical (PEC) reduction of carbon dioxide. 

Significance and Impact

  • Fully scalable CO2 reduction photocathode synthesis developed
  • Strategies established for long term stability of CO2 reduction photocathode
  • Potential applicability of TaOx as an ETL for a wide variety of promising light absorbers (Sb2Se3, GaInP2, ZnTe) suitable for PEC CO2 reduction

Research Details

  • TaOx and Cu co-catalyst synthesized by scalable technique (sputtering); oxygen vacancy concentration controls electron conductivity 
  • Faradaic efficiencies for CO2R >50% at photocurrent densities up to 8 mA cm-2 under 1 sun illumination
  • Techno-economic analysis shows that the system, if scaled, can produce feedstocks for chemical synthesis and thus become a significant component of carbon-neutral manufacturing.

Publication Details

R.R. Prabhakar, R. Lemerle, M Barecka, M. Kim, S Seo, E. N. Dayi, I. Dei Tos and J. W. Ager, J. Mater. Chem. A  2023

DOI: 10.1039/D3TA01028G

Supported by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences’ Fuels from Sunlight Hub under Award Number DE-SC0021266