Protecting and Enhancing the Photoelectrocatalytic Performance of InGaN Nanowires toward Nitrogen Reduction to Ammonia Synthesis

Paulraj Gnanasekar, Karthik Peramaiah, Huafan Zhang, Mathan Kumar Eswaran, Rakesh Rosan Pradhan, Udo Schwingenschlögl, Tien Khee Ng, Qiaoqiang Gan, Jeganathan Kulandaivel*, Kuo Wei Huang*, Boon S. Ooi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The photoelectrochemical (PEC) reduction of nitrogen (N2) to ammonia (NH3) has emerged as a potential alternative to the conventional Haber-Bosch approach as the solar energy-driven process reduces energy consumption. In this work, PEC N2 reduction is demonstrated with indium gallium nitride (InGaN) nanowires deposited with molybdenum carbide (Mo2C) co-catalyst. Interestingly, the incorporation of a GaN buffer layer between InGaN and Mo2C forms a suitable band alignment for rapid photogenerated charge carrier separation for the N2 reduction reaction (NRR). Impressively, a maximum NH3 production yield and Faradaic efficiency of 7.93 μg·h-1·cm-2 and 15.39%, respectively, is achieved at −0.2 V vs the reversible hydrogen electrode with the unique band structure of the Mo2C/GaN/InGaN photoelectrode. Density functional theory calculations reveal the favorable Gibbs free energy and efficient charge transfer process of the unique band structure of Mo2C/GaN/InGaN for effective NRR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10784-10793
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Energy Materials
Volume6
Issue number21
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 13 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society

Keywords

  • ammonia
  • III−V nitrate
  • molecular beam epitaxy
  • molybdenum carbide
  • nitrate reduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrochemistry
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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