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Stable and Efficient CuO Based Photocathode through Oxygen-Rich Composition and Au–Pd Nanostructure Incorporation for Solar-Hydrogen Production
- Masudy-Panah, Saeid, Siavash Moakhar, Roozbeh, Chua, Chin Sheng, Kushwaha, Ajay, Dalapati, Goutam Kumar
- ACS applied materials & interfaces 2017 v.9 no.33 pp. 27596-27606
- X-radiation, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, cathodes, cupric oxide, elemental composition, gold, hydrogen production, mass spectrometry, nanoparticles, palladium
- Enhancing stability against photocorrosion and improving photocurrent response are the main challenges toward the development of cupric oxide (CuO) based photocathodes for solar-driven hydrogen production. In this paper, stable and efficient CuO-photocathodes have been developed using in situ materials engineering and through gold–palladium (Au–Pd) nanoparticles deposition on the CuO surface. The CuO photocathode exhibits a photocurrent generation of ∼3 mA/cm² at 0 V v/s RHE. Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS) analysis and X-ray spectroscopy (XPS) confirm the formation of oxygen-rich (O-rich) CuO film which demonstrates a highly stable photocathode with retained photocurrent of ∼90% for 20 min. The influence of chemical composition on the photocathode performance and stability has been discussed in detail. In addition, O-rich CuO photocathodes deposited with Au–Pd nanostructures have shown enhanced photoelectrochemical performance. Linear scan voltammetry characteristic shows ∼25% enhancement in photocurrent after Au–Pd deposition and reaches ∼4 mA/cm² at “0” V v/s RHE. Hydrogen evolution rate significantly depends on the elemental composition of CuO and metal nanostructure. The present work has demonstrated a stable photocathode with high photocurrent for visible-light-driven water splitting and hydrogen production.