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Enhancing light harvesting and charge separation of Cu2O photocathodes with spatially separated noble-metal cocatalysts towards highly efficient water splitting

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Abstract

Enhancing light harvesting and photoinduced charge separation is key to obtain highly efficient photoelectrochemical water splitting systems, and the integration of noble metals with semiconductors demonstrates a feasible strategy to address this challenge. In this work, spatially separated Au and Pt nanolayers are firstly deposited on the bottom and surface of Cu2O nanogranules, respectively. The resulting novel Au/Cu2O/Pt photoelectrodes comprise a plasmonic photosensitizer (Au) for intensively increasing light harvesting and generating hot electrons from the surface plasmon resonance (SPR) effect and an electron collector layer (Pt) for promoting photoinduced electron transfer. This synergy effect has been well supported by many photoelectrochemical measurements, especially surface photovoltage (SPV) measurements. As expected, the photocurrent density–voltage curves demonstrate that the Au/Cu2O/Pt composites reach a photocurrent density of −3.55 mA cm−2, which is almost 4.63 times higher than that of pure Cu2O at 0 V vs. RHE. Moreover, this work provides a promising method for the development of high performance photoelectrodes by the integration of cocatalysts and semiconductors.

Graphical abstract: Enhancing light harvesting and charge separation of Cu2O photocathodes with spatially separated noble-metal cocatalysts towards highly efficient water splitting

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Publication details

The article was received on 02 Aug 2018, accepted on 27 Sep 2018 and first published on 27 Sep 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8TA07503D
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, Advance Article
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    Enhancing light harvesting and charge separation of Cu2O photocathodes with spatially separated noble-metal cocatalysts towards highly efficient water splitting

    D. Chen, Z. Liu, Z. Guo, W. Yan and Y. Xin, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8TA07503D

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