Advancing Materials and Methods for Photoelectrochemical Energy Conversion


  • Kevin Sivula Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) Institut des sciences et ingénierie chimiques Laboratory for Molecular Engineering of Optoelectronic Nanomaterials (LIMNO) EPFL SB ISIC LIMNO, Station 6 CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.



Hydrogen, Interface engineering, Nanostructure, Semiconductor, Solar fuel


Strategies to convert energy from the sun into chemical fuels and feedstocks for a carbon-neutral economy are under rapid development. A photoelectrochemical route uses a direct semiconductor–liquid junction that offers simplicity but places challenging constraints on the materials used. The LIMNO lab has made significant progress in demonstrating new viable classes of materials, defining new methods to control the nanostructure of photoelectrodes to enhance charge extraction, and to engineer the electrode interfaces to reduce losses in photoelectrodes. These techniques contribute to a toolset which will enable inexpensively processed, robust semiconductor materials to obtain high performance solar to fuel conversion. Herein the major advances and achievements of LIMNO toward this goal are highlighted within the context of the current state of the art and the future prospects for the field.