Kamimura, Jumpei; Bogdanoff, Peter; Lahnemann, Jonas; Hauswald, Christian; Geelhaar, Lutz; Fiechter, Sebastian; Richert, Henning: Photoelectrochemical Properties of (In,Ga)N Nanowires for Water Splitting Investigated by in Situ Electrochemical Mass Spectroscopy. Journal of the American Chemical Society 135 (2013), p. 10242 -10245

We investigated the photoelectrochemical properties of both n- and p-type (In,Ga)N nanowires (NWs) for water splitting by in-situ electrochemical mass spectroscopy (EMS). All NWs were prepared by plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy. Under illumination, the n-(In,Ga)N NWs exhibited an anodic photocurrent, however, no O2 but only N2 evolution was detected by EMS, indicating that the photocurrent was related to photocorrosion rather than water oxidation. In contrast, the p-(In,Ga)N NWs showed a cathodic photocurrent under illumination which was correlated with the evolution of H2. After photodeposition of Pt on such NWs, the photo-current density was significantly enhanced to 5 mA/cm2 at a potential of -0.5 V/NHE under visible light irradiation of ~40 mW/cm2. Also, incident photon-to-current conversion efficiencies of around 40% were obtained at -0.45 V/NHE across the entire visible spectral region. The stability of the NW photocathodes for at least 60 min was verified by EMS. These results suggest that p-(In,Ga)N NWs are a promising basis for solar hydrogen production.