Integration of a Hydrogenase in a Lead Halide Perovskite Photoelectrode for Tandem Solar Water Splitting

Esther Edwardes Moore, Virgil Andrei, Sónia Zacarias, Inês A.C. Pereira, Erwin Reisner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)


Lead halide perovskite solar cells are notoriously moisture-sensitive, but recent encapsulation strategies have demonstrated their potential application as photoelectrodes in aqueous solution. However, perovskite photoelectrodes rely on precious metal co-catalysts, and their combination with biological materials remains elusive in integrated devices. Here, we interface [NiFeSe] hydrogenase from Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough, a highly active enzyme for H2 generation, with a triple cation mixed halide perovskite. The perovskite-hydrogenase photoelectrode produces a photocurrent of -5 mA cm-2 at 0 V vs RHE during AM1.5G irradiation, is stable for 12 h and the hydrogenase exhibits a turnover number of 1.9 × 106. The positive onset potential of +0.8 V vs RHE allows its combination with a BiVO4 water oxidation photoanode to give a self-sustaining, bias-free photoelectrochemical tandem system for overall water splitting (solar-to-hydrogen efficiency of 1.1%). This work demonstrates the compatibility of immersed perovskite elements with biological catalysts to produce hybrid photoelectrodes with benchmark performance, which establishes their utility in semiartificial photosynthesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-237
Number of pages6
JournalACS Energy Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2020


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