Author(s) Kim, J.Hyun; Hwang, S.Min; Hwang, I.; Han, J.; Kim, J.Hun; Jo, Y.Hyun; Seo, K.; Kim, Y.; Lee, J.Sung
Journal iScience
Date Published 2019 Sep 27

Conversion of sunlight to chemical energy based on photoelectrochemical (PEC) processes has been considered as a promising strategy for solar energy harvesting. Here, we propose a novel platform that converts solar energy into sodium (Na) as a solid-state solar fuel via the PEC oxidation of natural seawater, for which a Na ion-selective ceramic membrane is employed together with photoelectrode (PE)-photovoltaic (PV) tandem cell. Using an elaborately modified bismuth vanadate-based PE in tandem with crystalline silicon PV, we demonstrate unassisted solar-to-Na conversion (equivalent to solar charge of seawater battery) with an unprecedentedly high efficiency of 8% (expected operating point under 1 sun) and measured operation efficiency of 5.7% (0.2 sun) and long-term stability, suggesting a new benchmark for low-cost, efficient, and scalable solid solar fuel production. The sodium turns easily into electricity on demand making the device a nature-friendly, monolithic solar rechargeable seawater battery.

DOI 10.1016/j.isci.2019.07.024
ISSN 2589-0042
Citation iScience. 2019;19:232243.

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