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Issue 63, 2016
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Optimization of (Cu2Sn)xZn3(1−x)S3/CdS pn junction photoelectrodes for solar water reduction

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Surface modification of p-type Cu2ZnSnS4 films with n-type semiconductors is an efficient way to enhance the properties for photoelectrochemical water reduction. However, the detailed optimization of the pn junction photoelectrodes and examination of the underlying mechanism are seldom reported. Herein, Cu2ZnSnS4-derived (Cu2Sn)0.45Zn1.65S3 (CTZS) nanocrystal films were first fabricated, and subsequently coated with n-type CdS layers to form CTZS/CdS photoelectrodes. To obtain an insight into the pn junction, we have examined the depletion region widths that extended into both CTZS and CdS layers. It was revealed that the CdS layer was fully depleted and the CTZS layer was partially depleted in CTZS/CdS photoelectrodes. Consequently, increased CTZS thickness led to the decreased charge separation, and increased CdS thickness resulted in the improved charge separation. Owing to the balance of light absorption and charge separation, CTZS/CdS films with moderate thicknesses of CTZS and CdS layers showed the highest photocurrent. Meanwhile, the annealing treatment for CTZS/CdS film was indispensable for the improved property. After Pt modification, the incident photon to current conversion efficiency could reach 24.7% at 450 nm, which was among the best values for Cu2ZnSnS4-based photocathodes. This work is expected to provide general guidance for exploring efficient photoelectrodes with pn junction structure.

Graphical abstract: Optimization of (Cu2Sn)xZn3(1−x)S3/CdS pn junction photoelectrodes for solar water reduction

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Supplementary files

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The article was received on 25 Mar 2016, accepted on 10 Jun 2016 and first published on 13 Jun 2016

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C6RA07841A
Citation: RSC Adv., 2016,6, 58409-58416

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    Optimization of (Cu2Sn)xZn3(1−x)S3/CdS pn junction photoelectrodes for solar water reduction

    Y. Chen, Z. Qin, T. Chen, J. Su, X. Feng and M. Liu, RSC Adv., 2016, 6, 58409
    DOI: 10.1039/C6RA07841A

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