Defect engineering of ZnS thin films for photoelectrochemical water-splitting under visible light

Fran Kurnia, Yun Hau Ng, Rose Amal, Nagarajan Valanoor, Judy Hart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Efficient hydrogen production from water by photocatalysis under sunlight requires a significant improvement in light-harvesting capability. Zinc sulfide is a promising, inexpensive hydrogen generation photocatalyst, but in its pure, bulk form it is only active under ultra-violet light. Here, we show clear evidence of photoelectrochemical activity of ZnS thin films under visible-light irradiation without any co-catalysts, achieved through defect engineering. Fabrication of nanostructured ZnS under controlled conditions introduces defects, and hence intermediate electronic states within the band gap, which allow significant absorption of light at energies below the band gap energy of pure, bulk ZnS. The measured band gap of the ZnS thin films is ~2.4 eV, while the photocurrent density exceeds 1.5 mA/cm2 under visible-light irradiation (λ≥435 nm). This is the first measurement of such high photocurrents for undoped ZnS under visible light.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-185
JournalSolar Energy Materials & Solar Cells
Volume153
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Aug 2016

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