Accession Number:



Investigation of Cadmium Selenide Photoelectrochemical Cells.

Descriptive Note:

Technical note,

Corporate Author:


Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



Three photoelectrochemical devices, developed at Simon Fraser University, employing electrochemically deposited cadmium selenide photoanodes, a polysulphide redox electrolyte and an in situ energy storage compartment were evaluated at DREO. The photoelectrochemical devices were initially tested using tungsten filament lamps, and the evaluation was completed with a xenon lamp which closely matched a solar spectrum corresponding to AM1 air mass 1 conditions having an irradiance level of 2889 Wm. Maximum power output of the devices was in the 10-20 mW range resulting in a solar AM1 to electrical conversion efficiency of less than 1. A fill-factor approaching 0.25 was typical for the photoelectrochemical cells examined. Counter electrode polarization and electrolyte light absorption were identified and evaluated as efficiency limiting factors. Proposed loss mechanisms are series resistance in the semiconductor bulk, electron tunneling to surface states, current carrier losses at electron-hole recombination centers, and shorting to the nickel substrate. The concept of in situ energy storage was not successfully demonstrated. It is concluded that counter electrode polarization can be overcome and that further research is required in order to detect the presence of surface states and electron-hole recombination centers as well as research oriented to characterize the structure of the depletion layer and the CdSeelectrolyte interface. The efficiency of the electrochemically deposited CdSe should approach the 5-10 efficiency observed for single crystal and pressure sintered CdSe. Author

Subject Categories:

  • Energy Storage

Distribution Statement: