Harvesting and storing solar energy is one of the main focal points of the drive towards a renewable energy economy. While photovoltaic cells allow the conversion of sunlight into electric current, additional storage technologies are required to match temporally fluctuating supply and demand. Photoelectrochemical water-splitting combines both light harvesting and energy storage into one device capable of producing hydrogen, from which the stored energy can be reclaimed at any desired time. Atomic layer deposition (ALD) is a method of growing thin films of various materials with unrivalled thickness control and uniformity, even on substrates with a complex or porous morphology.
I use ALD to prepare functional layers (i.e. photoabsorbers, charge-selective layers and catalysts) for photoelectrochemical systems as well as novel photovoltaic devices. I then use solid state and electrochemical characterization methods to examine the working mechanisms of the devices and improve their efficiency.