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Photocatalytic Mechanism Research: Surface Photovoltage Testing

In the 1980s, Professor Dejun Wang from Jilin University introduced the Surface Photovoltage (SPV) method into the fields of photochemistry and photocatalysis. Subsequently, this technique was used to extensively study the behavior of photoinduced charges in materials with semiconductor properties.


Surface Photovoltage (SPV) Technique

The Surface Photovoltage (SPV) technique is a non-contact measurement method that enables the measurement of voltage changes on the surface of semiconductors after exposure to light, and it possesses high sensitivity.

In recent years, the SPV technique has found widespread applications in research areas such as photocatalytic hydrogen production, solar cells, photocatalytic degradation, photoelectrochemical sensors, and photoelectrochemical water oxidation. Researchers combine the SPV technique with material studies to explain the dynamic behavior of photoinduced charges in corresponding reaction processes, gaining deeper insights into the separation, transport, and recombination of photoinduced charges in semiconductors.

The SPV technique can be used to determine the semiconductor's conductivity type, measure the diffusion distance of minority carriers, determine surface state parameters, and study the behavior of photoinduced charges. It also provides information about semiconductor material properties such as charge transition attributes, defect states, heterojunction charge transfer, quantum size effects, quantum confinement characteristics, photoinduced charge separation, transport, and recombination.

The SPV technique mainly includes steady-state surface photovoltage and transient surface photovoltage.

Steady-State Surface Photovoltage Testing

Steady-state surface photovoltage testing is achieved using a lock-in amplifier, as shown in Figure 1. This method provides important parameters like the semiconductor's conductivity type, bandgap width, and the separation efficiency of surface/interface photoinduced charge carriers.

图1. 稳态表面光电压谱仪示意图


Figure 1. Steady-State Surface Photovoltage Spectrometer Schematic

Transient Surface Photovoltage Testing

Building upon steady-state surface photovoltage, transient surface photovoltage testing employs pulsed laser as the light source, as depicted in Figure 2. This technique not only reflects the separation efficiency of photoinduced charge carriers in materials but also provides microscopic dynamic information about the separation of photoinduced charges and their charge transfer capabilities.

图2. 瞬态表面光电压谱仪示意图.jpg

Figure 2. Transient Surface Photovoltage Spectrometer Schematic

图3. 表面光电压谱仪实验室现场照片.jpg

Figure 3. Surface Photovoltage Spectrometer Laboratory Photo






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