Enhanced Photocurrents with ZnS Passivated Cu(In,Ga)(Se,S)2 Photocathodes Synthesized Using a Nonvacuum Process for Solar Water Splitting

Sang Youn Chae, Se Jin Park, Sung Gyu Han, Hyejin Jung, Chae Woong Kim, Chaehwan Jeong, Oh Shim Joo, Byoung Koun Min, Yun Jeong Hwang

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67 Citations (Scopus)


Chalcopyrite Cu(In,Ga)(Se,S)2 (CIGS) semiconductors are potential candidates for use in photoelectrochemical (PEC) hydrogen generation due to their excellent optical absorption properties and high conduction band edge position. In the present research, CIGS thin film was successfully prepared on a transparent substrate (F:SnO2 glass) using a solution-based process and applied for a photocathode in solar water splitting, which shows control of the surface state associated with sulfurization/selenization process significantly influences on the PEC activity. A ZnS passivation surface layer was introduced, which effectively suppresses charge recombination by surface states of CIGS. The CIGS/ZnS/Pt photocathode exhibited highly enhanced PEC activity (∼24 mA·cm-2 at −0.3 V vs RHE). The performances of our CIGS photocathode on the transparent substrate were also characterized under front/back light illumination, and the incident photon to current conversion efficiency (IPCE) drastically changed depending on the illumination directions showing decreased IPCE especially under UV region with back illumination. The slow minority carrier (electron) transportation is suggested as a limiting factor for the PEC activity of the CIGS photocathode.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15673-15681
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number48
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Dec 7

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) Institutional Program and it was partly supported by the University-Institute Cooperation Program of the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Korean Government (MSIP). We thanks M. S. Jee for helpful discussions.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Chemical Society.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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