Dr. Deutsch has been studying photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting since interning in Dr. John A. Turner’s lab at NREL in 1999 and 2000. He performed his graduate studies on III-V semiconductor water-splitting systems under the joint guidance of Dr. Turner and Prof. Carl A. Koval in the Chemistry Department at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Todd officially joined NREL as a postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Turner’s group in August 2006 and became a staff scientist two years later. He works on identifying and characterizing appropriate materials for generating hydrogen fuel from water using sunlight as the only energy input. Recently, his work has focused on inverted metamorphic multijunction III-V semiconductors and corrosion remediation strategies for high-efficiency water-splitting photoelectrodes. Todd has been honored as an Outstanding Mentor by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science nine times in recognition of his work as an advisor to more than 30 students in the Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) program at NREL.

For a full listing of Todd’s publications, please see his Google Scholar page.

Research Interests

Solar energy conversion to hydrogen fuel via PEC water splitting

III-V semiconductor aqueous electrolyte interfaces

Surface modification of semiconductors for catalysis and protection from corrosion

Benchmarking solar-to-hydrogen efficiency of PEC systems


Ph.D. Analytical Chemistry, University of Colorado Boulder

M.S. Chemistry, University of Colorado Boulder 

B.S. Chemistry cum laude, Humboldt State University

Featured Work

“Direct solar-to-hydrogen conversion via inverted metamorphic multi-junction semiconductor architectures,” J.L. Young, M.A. Steiner, H. Döscher, R.M. France, J.A. Turner, and T.G. Deutsch, Nature Energy 2, 17028 (2017).

“Solar to hydrogen efficiency: Shining light on photoelectrochemical device performance,” H. Döscher, J.L. Young, J.F. Geisz, J.A. Turner, and T.G. Deutsch, Energy Environ. Sci. 9, 74–80 (2016).

“Sunlight absorption in water—Efficiency and design implications for photoelectrochemical devices,” H. Döscher, J.F. Geisz, T.G. Deutsch, and J.A. Turner, Energy Environ. Sci. 7(9), 2951–2956 (2014).

“Molybdenum disulfide as a protection layer and catalyst for gallium indium phosphide solar water splitting photocathodes,” R.J. Britto, J.D. Benck, J.L. Young, C. Hahn, T.G. Deutsch, and T.F. Jaramillo, J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 7, 2044–2049 (2016).

“Technical and economic feasibility of centralized facilities for solar hydrogen production via photocatalysis and photoelectrochemistry,” B.A. Pinaud, J.D. Benck, L.C. Seitz, A.J. Forman, Z. Chen, T.G. Deutsch, B.D. James, K.N. Baum, G.N. Baum, S. Ardo, H. Wang, E. Miller, and T.F. Jaramillo, Energy Environ. Sci. 6, 1983–2002, (2013).

“Phosphonic acid modification of GaInP photocathodes towards unbiased photoelectrochemical water splitting,” B.A. MacLeod, K.X. Steirer, J.L. Young, U. Koldemir, A. Sellinger, J.A. Turner, T.G. Deutsch, and D.C. Olson, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 7, 11346−11350 (2015).

“Nanoporous black silicon photocathode for H2 production by photoelectrochemical water splitting,” J. Oh, T.G. Deutsch, H.-C. Yuan, H.M. Branz, Energy Environ. Sci. 4, 1690–1694 (2011).

“Cobalt-phosphate (Co-Pi) catalyst modified Mo-doped BiVO4 photoelectrodes for solar water oxidation,” S.K. Pilli, T.E. Furtak, L.D. Brown, T.G. Deutsch, J.A. Turner, and A.M. Herring, Energy Environ. Sci. 4, 5028–5034 (2011).

“Accelerating materials development for photoelectrochemical (PEC) hydrogen production: Standards for methods, definitions, and reporting protocols,” Z. Chen, T.F. Jaramillo, T.G. Deutsch, A. Kleiman-Shwarsctein, A.J. Forman, N. Gaillard, R. Garland, K. Takanabe, C. Heske, M. Sunkara, E.W. McFarland, K. Domen, E.L. Miller, J.A. Turner, and H.N. Dinh, J. Mater. Res. 25(1), 3–16 (2010).

Awards and Honors

U.S. Department of Energy Team Merit Award (2017)

U.S. Department of Energy Merit Award (2014)