Kamimura, J.; Bogdanoff, P.; Corfdir, P.; Brandt, O.; Riechert, H.; Geelhaar, L.: Broad Band Light Absorption and High Photocurrent of (In,Ga)N Nanowire Photoanodes Resulting from a Radial Stark Effect. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 8 (2016), p. 34490-34496

The photoelectrochemical properties of (In,Ga)N nanowire photoanodes are investigated using H2O2 as a hole scavenger to prevent photocorrosion. Under simulated solar illumination, In0.16Ga0.84N nanowires grown by plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy show a high photocurrent of 2.7 mA/cm2 at 1.2 V vs reversible hydrogen electrode. This value is almost the theoretical maximum expected from the corresponding band gap (2.8 eV) for homogeneous bulk material without taking into account surface effects. These nanowires exhibit a higher incident photon-to-current conversion efficiency over a broader wavelength range and a higher photocurrent than a compact layer with higher In content of 28%. These results are explained by the combination of built-in electric fields at the nanowire sidewall surfaces and compositional fluctuations in (In,Ga)N, which gives rise to a radial Stark effect. This effect enables spatially indirect transitions at energies much lower than the band gap. The resulting broad band light absorption leads to high photocurrents. This benefit of the radial Stark effect in (In,Ga) N nanowires for solar harvesting applications opens up the perspective to break the theoretical limit for photocurrents. KEYWORDS: nanowire, photoelectrode, water splitting, molecular beam epitaxy, H2O2