A light activated photoelectrochromic device is formed of a two-component system formed of a photoactive charge carrier generating material and electrochromic material (plus an elecrolyte). Light interacts with a semiconductive material to generate hole-electron charge carriers which cause a redox reaction in the electrochromic material. One device is formed of hydrated nickel oxide as the electrochromic layer and polycrystalline titanium dioxide as the charge generating material. The materials may be formed as discrete layers or mixed together. Because of the direct charge transfer between the layers, a circuit to apply a voltage to drive the electrochromic reaction is not required, although one can be used to enhance the reaction. The hydrated nickel oxide-titanium dioxide materials can also be used to form a photovoltaic device for generating electricity.
REFERENCE TO GOVERNMENT INTEREST
This invention was made in the course of contract DE-AC03-76SF0098 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. The United States Government has certain rights to this invention.