Conversion of Visible Light into Ionic Power Using Photoacid-Dye-Sensitized Bipolar Ion-Exchange Membranes

Here, we report a ∌60-fold increase in the photovoltage through use of a bipolar membrane structure consisting of a cation-exchange membrane affixed to an anion-exchange membrane. The junction between the layers was characterized in detail using electrochemistry, scanning electron microscopy, spectroscopy, and thermal gravimetric analysis. Our results represent considerable progress toward a device that directly converts sunlight into ionic electricity, which has implications for direct solar desalination of salt water. 


It has been over three-quarters of a century since the discovery of the semiconductor pn-junction diode, [