Production method for photo-electrocatalytic electrodes from industrial pigment powders
Patent 14027/TUB

An enhanced electrode for fuel cells and electro catalysis and the manufacturing process needed.

  1. Current densities many times higher than state of the art
  2. Homogeneous size distribution of the catalyst particles stemming from powders with inhomogeneous size distribution
  3. Cheaper and easier production
  4. Usage of conventional powders still possible
Possible Applications

Manufacturing of alternative fuels, activating of inert molecules (CO2 or hydrocarbons), chemical catalysis


Photo-electrocatalytic reactions assume an increasingly important role in water splitting or reduction of CO2 towards higher hydrocarbons. Fabrication of electrodes, used for this purpose, often requires laborious and costly synthesis steps. With a recent development, however, pre-fabricated industrial pigments can be employed with much less efforts. After modification of the size of the pigment particles and a suitable coating procedure, essential electronic properties turn out to be improved, and electrode manufacturing on a large scale becomes feasible.

Technical Description

The invention presented here describes an electrode with a catalytic layer of semiconductor particles of homogeneous size distribution, surrounded by an amorphous semiconductor layer (Matrix). This arrangement facilitates an improved electric conductivity and increased light conversion efficiency. Furthermore the invention comprises the production method for manufacturing of the electrode and the use of cost-efficient semiconductor materials: In a suspension of the particles, a brief voltage pulse is applied for selective deposition of small-sized particles onto a substrate. Remaining particles in the suspension are then subjected to partial chemical dissolution until they reach the desired (small) size and are subsequently deposited. Electrodes manufactured by this recurrent procedure demonstrate photocurrent densities many times higher than those fabricated from unmodified pigment powders.

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Ina Krüger

Technology Transfer Manager

+49 (0)30 314-75916

Technology Readiness Level

Technology validated in lab

Property Rights

pending: US
approved: DE, FR, JP

Patent Holder

Technische Universität Berlin

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