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Advances in Condensed Matter Physics
Volume 2015, Article ID 537860, 4 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/537860
Research Article

Photoelectrochemical CO2 Conversion to Hydrocarbons Using an AlGaN/GaN-Si Tandem Photoelectrode

1Advanced Research Division, Panasonic Corporation, Seika, Kyoto 619-0237, Japan
2Department of Applied Physics, Tokyo University of Science, Katsushika, Tokyo 125-8585, Japan

Received 22 September 2014; Accepted 22 November 2014

Academic Editor: Junichiro Kono

Copyright © 2015 Masahiro Deguchi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

We report on a qualitatively improved photoelectrochemical CO2 reduction system which makes it possible to convert CO2 into hydrocarbons. The key is the tandem photoelectrode, which consists of AlGaN/GaN and Si device with p-n junction. The Si device is located on the back of AlGaN/GaN structure and acts as activation layer that raises cathode potential. Use of a Cu cathode results in change of the main reaction products from CO and HCOOH to hydrocarbons such as CH4 and C2H4. The energy conversion efficiency to hydrocarbons from CO2 is estimated to be 0.046% under irradiation with concentrated solar light.