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Accelerating materials development for photoelectrochemical hydrogen production: Standards for methods, definitions, and reporting protocols

  • Zhebo Chen, Thomas F. Jaramillo (a1), Todd G. Deutsch (a2), Alan Kleiman-Shwarsctein (a3), Arnold J. Forman (a4), Nicolas Gaillard (a5), Roxanne Garland (a6), Kazuhiro Takanabe (a7), Clemens Heske (a8), Mahendra Sunkara (a9), Eric W. McFarland (a3), Kazunari Domen (a10), Eric L. Miller (a5), John A. Turner and Huyen N. Dinh (a11)...

Photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting for hydrogen production is a promising technology that uses sunlight and water to produce renewable hydrogen with oxygen as a by-product. In the expanding field of PEC hydrogen production, the use of standardized screening methods and reporting has emerged as a necessity. This article is intended to provide guidance on key practices in characterization of PEC materials and proper reporting of efficiencies. Presented here are the definitions of various efficiency values that pertain to PEC, with an emphasis on the importance of solar-to-hydrogen efficiency, as well as a flow chart with standard procedures for PEC characterization techniques for planar photoelectrode materials (i.e., not suspensions of particles) with a focus on single band gap absorbers. These guidelines serve as a foundation and prelude to a much more complete and in-depth discussion of PEC techniques and procedures presented elsewhere.

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