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Dr. James L. Young is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory with expertise in III-V photoelectrochemistry and solar water splitting for hydrogen production. 

As an NSF graduate research fellow, James was co-advised by Prof. Steven George at the University of Colorado Boulder and Dr. Todd Deutsch at NREL, where he developed highly efficient, tandem III-V solar water-splitting devices and investigated atomic layer deposition of metal catalysts and oxide protective coatings on III-V photoelectrodes.

Research Interests

Solar fuel production and efficiency benchmarking

Photoelectrochemistry and electrochemistry

Electronic properties of materials


Atomic layer deposition


Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder 

B.S. Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Featured Work

“Direct solar-to-hydrogen conversion via inverted metamorphic multijunction semiconductor architectures,” Nature Energy (2017).

“Solar to hydrogen efficiency: Shining light on photoelectrochemical device performance,” Energy Environ. Sci. (2015).

“Semiconductor interfacial carrier dynamics via photoinduced electric fields,” Science (2015)

“Water reduction by a p-GaInP2 photoelectrode stabilized by an amorphous TiO2 coating and a molecular cobalt catalyst,” Nature Materials (2015).

“Reversible GaInP2 surface passivation by water adsorption: A model system for ambient-dependent photoluminescence,” J. Phys. Chem. C (2015).

“Printed assemblies of GaAs photoelectrodes with decoupled optical and reactive interfaces for unassisted solar water splitting with 13.1% efficiency,” Nature Energy (2017).

“Remarkable stability of unmodified GaAs photocathodes during hydrogen evolution in acidic electrolyte,” J. Mat. Chem. A (2015).

“Molybdenum disulfide as a protection layer and catalyst for gallium indium phosphide solar water splitting photocathodes,” J. Phys. Chem. Lett. (2016).

“A graded catalytic-protective layer for an efficient and stable water-splitting photocathode,” Nature Energy (2017).

View all NREL publications for James L. Young.