A pulse electrodeposited amorphous tunnel layer stabilises Cu2O for efficient photoelectrochemical water splitting under visible-light irradiation

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

11 Scopus Citations
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Author(s)

  • Hao Wu
  • Zhaoke Zheng
  • Cui Ying Toe
  • Xiaoming Wen
  • Judy N. Hart
  • Rose Amal

Related Research Unit(s)

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5638-5646
Journal / PublicationJournal of Materials Chemistry A
Volume8
Issue number11
Online published10 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2020

Abstract

Surface coating of a protective layer can prevent the corrosion of Cu2O at electrode liquid junctions (ELJs) in photoelectrochemical water splitting. However, a facile methodology for the deposition of a conformal protective layer is still a challenge. Here, an ultrathin layer of amorphous ZnO is introduced on Cu2O by pulsed electrodeposition, to construct a "sandwich" structure of a composite photoelectrode of TiO2/ZnO/Cu2O on an FTO substrate. Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) visualises the spatial distribution of Ti, Zn, Cu, and Sn elements of the composite. Benefiting from the homogeneous coating of a ZnO layer, visible cracks in TiO2 coating are significantly reduced, thus preventing the direct contact between the electrolyte and Cu2O. Moreover, due to the ultrathin property of the amorphous ZnO layer, the energetic electrons from the excited Cu2O can be injected via the ZnO layer into TiO2, as elucidated by time-resolved photoluminescence (TRPL) results. The resulting composite photoelectrode shows enhanced photoelectrochemical activity and stability, compared to the bare Cu2O, as well as the TiO2/Cu2O photoelectrode. This study offers a versatile and effective method for improving the stability and charge separation efficiency of Cu2O, which is useful in guiding the surface coating of other nanostructured materials for solar energy conversion.

Research Area(s)

  • REDUCED GRAPHENE OXIDE, CUPROUS-OXIDE, ATOMIC LAYER, PHOTOCATHODES, DEPOSITION, ENHANCE, PHOTOACTIVITY, NANOCRYSTALS, PHOTOANODES, PROTECTION

Citation Format(s)

A pulse electrodeposited amorphous tunnel layer stabilises Cu2O for efficient photoelectrochemical water splitting under visible-light irradiation. / Wu, Hao; Zheng, Zhaoke; Toe, Cui Ying; Wen, Xiaoming; Hart, Judy N.; Amal, Rose; Ng, Yun Hau.

In: Journal of Materials Chemistry A, Vol. 8, No. 11, 21.03.2020, p. 5638-5646.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal