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Identification of optimal solar fuel electrocatalysts via high throughput in situ optical measurements

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 October 2014

Aniketa Shinde
Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA
Dan Guevarra
Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA
Joel A. Haber
Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA
Jian Jin
Engineering Division and Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California 94720, USA
John M. Gregoire*
Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA
a)Address all correspondence to this author. e-mail:
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Many solar fuel generator designs involve illumination of a photoabsorber stack coated with a catalyst for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER). In this design, impinging light must pass through the catalyst layer before reaching the photoabsorber(s), and thus optical transmission is an important function of the OER catalyst layer. Many oxide catalysts, such as those containing elements Ni and Co, form oxide or oxyhydroxide phases in alkaline solution at operational potentials that differ from the phases observed in ambient conditions. To characterize the transparency of such catalysts during OER operation, 1031 unique compositions containing the elements Ni, Co, Ce, La, and Fe were prepared by a high throughput inkjet printing technique. The catalytic current of each composition was recorded at an OER overpotential of 0.33 V with simultaneous measurement of the spectral transmission. By combining the optical and catalytic properties, the combined catalyst efficiency was calculated to identify the optimal catalysts for solar fuel applications within the material library. The measurements required development of a new high throughput instrument with integrated electrochemistry and spectroscopy measurements, which enables various spectroelectrochemistry experiments.

Copyright © Materials Research Society 2014 

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