Benchmark performance of low-cost Sb2Se3 photocathodes for unassisted solar overall water splitting

Wooseok Yang, Jin Hyun Kim, Oliver S. Hutter, Laurie J. Phillips, Jeiwan Tan, Jaemin Park, Hyungsoo Lee, Jonathan D. Major, Jae Sung Lee, Jooho Moon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

153 Citations (Scopus)


Determining cost-effective semiconductors exhibiting desirable properties for commercial photoelectrochemical water splitting remains a challenge. Herein, we report a Sb2Se3 semiconductor that satisfies most requirements for an ideal high-performance photoelectrode, including a small band gap and favourable cost, optoelectronic properties, processability, and photocorrosion stability. Strong anisotropy, a major issue for Sb2Se3, is resolved by suppressing growth kinetics via close space sublimation to obtain high-quality compact thin films with favourable crystallographic orientation. The Sb2Se3 photocathode exhibits a high photocurrent density of almost 30 mA cm−2 at 0 V against the reversible hydrogen electrode, the highest value so far. We demonstrate unassisted solar overall water splitting by combining the optimised Sb2Se3 photocathode with a BiVO4 photoanode, achieving a solar-to-hydrogen efficiency of 1.5% with stability over 10 h under simulated 1 sun conditions employing a broad range of solar fluxes. Low-cost Sb2Se3 can thus be an attractive breakthrough material for commercial solar fuel production.

Original languageEnglish
Article number861
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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