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Project overview
  • Lead Organisation

    The Australian National University


    Australian Capital Territory

    ARENA Program

    Advancing Renewables Program

  • Start date

    1 August 2018

    End date

    14 March 2023

  • Project Partners
    Shenzhen Kohodo Hydrogen Energy, University of New South Wales
    This hydrogen project was completed on 14 March 2023.


The Efficient Solar Hydrogen Generation project investigates the fabrication and integration of low-cost semiconductors and earth abundant catalysts to address one of the most significant challenges for hydrogen production: the development of efficient, stable and cheap solar water splitting systems.

Key results

The project has been successful in advancing direct solar hydrogen technologies achieving a record 20% STH efficiency by optimising and integrating perovskite/Si tandem and low-cost catalysts.

How the project works

The Efficient Solar Hydrogen Generation project led by the ANU will investigate how silicon and perovskite cells will be integrated into a tandem configuration to enable stand alone solar hydrogen production. Catalysts made from transition metal composites with controlled chemical composition, crystallinity and morphology will be developed and integrated with either silicon photoelectrodes or three-dimensionally interconnected porous Ni foams to boost the electrocatalytic interactions for enhanced water-splitting performance.

Area of innovation

The novel configurations developed in this project will use low cost materials to achieve much higher efficiency through 1) tandem design and novel interconnection strategies that maximise the rate of catalysis, 2) an engineered surface to minimise the substantial voltage loss at the semiconductor surface that usually occurs with photo electrochemical cells, and 3) earth abundant composite catalysts deposited onto 3D hierarchically structured substrates allowing much higher rates of catalytic reaction.


The Efficient Solar Hydrogen Generation project will facilitate the development of practical, highly efficient, stand-alone solar water splitting system for hydrogen production using low-cost semiconductors and non-noble metal-based catalysts. The project contributes to the development of a potential renewable energy export supply chain through the research and development on the production of gaseous hydrogen using solar energy.

Last updated 24 March 2023


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Researchers are developing new ways to export Australia’s renewable energy in the form of hydrogen.

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Hydrogen offers a way to produce a renewable, emissions-free fuel using the power of the sun and wind.

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