These photoelectrochemical cells often depend on indium tin oxide (ITO), a transparent, electrically conductive material, coated with a catalytic metal oxide. Because of its ability to serve as a transparent electrode, ITO is the go-to material for various photoelectrochemical processes—not just making H2—and other applications. But indium and ITO are expensive. In addition, the catalytic oxide layer reduces ITO’s light transmission and thus cell efficiency, and its conductivity falls with extended use. To sidestep these limitations, Duke chemists Zuofeng Chen, Benjamin J. Wiley, and coworkers have developed an ITO replacement—copper nanowires coated with a shell of nickel or cobalt (Angew.
by Mitch Jacoby |
November 04, 2013