Design principles for efficient photoelectrodes in solar rechargeable redox flow cell applications

Dowon Bae, Gerasimos Kanellos, Richard Faasse, Emil Dražević, Anirudh Venugopal, Wilson Smith

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Recent advances in photoelectrochemical redox flow cells, such as solar redox flow batteries, have received much attention as an alternative integrated technology for simultaneous conversion and storage of solar energy. Theoretically, it has been reported that even single- photon devices can demonstrate unbiased photo-charging with high solar-to-chemical con- version efficiency; however, the poor redox kinetics of photoelectrodes reported thus far severely limit the photo-charging performance. Here, we report a band alignment design and propose surface coverage control to reduce the charge extraction barrier and create a facile carrier pathway from both n- and p-type photoelectrodes to the electrolyte with the respective redox reaction. Based on these observations, we develop a single-photon photo- charging device with a solar-to-chemical conversion efficiency over 9.4% for a redox flow cell system. Along with these findings, we provide design principles for simultaneous optimisa- tion, which may lead to enhanced conversion efficiency in the further development of solar- rechargeable redox flow cells.
Original languageEnglish
Article number17
Number of pages9
JournalCommunications Materials
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Photoelectrochemical cells
  • Photoelectrochemistry
  • Redox flow battery
  • Device design
  • Renewable energy (system)
  • Energy storage
  • Solar-battery integration, thermal analisys, thermal management, phase change materials.
  • OA-Fund TU Delft

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