Korean Institute of Surface Engineering

pISSN : 1225-8024 | eISSN : 3399-8403


공학

한국표면공학회지 (55권2호 63-69)

Cupric oxide thin film as an efficient photocathode for photoelectrochemical water reduction

Cupric oxide thin film as an efficient photocathode for photoelectrochemical water reduction

Jong-Hyun Park, Hyojin Kim*
Jong-Hyun Park, Hyojin Kim*

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 34134, Republic of Korea
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 34134, Republic of Korea

DOI : 10.5695/JSSE.2022.55.2.63

Abstract

Preparing various types of thin films of oxide semiconductors is a promising approach to fabricate efficient photoanodes and photocathodes for hydrogen production via photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting. In this work, we investigate the feasibility of an efficient photocathode for PEC water reduction of a p-type oxide semiconductor cupric oxide (CuO) thin film prepared via a facile method combined with sputtering Cu metallic film on fluorine-doped thin oxide (FTO) coated glass substrate and subsequent thermal oxidation of the sputtered Cu metallic film in dry air. Characterization of the structural, optical, and PEC properties of the CuO thin film prepared at various Cu sputtering powers reveals that we can obtain an optimum CuO thin film as an efficient PEC photocathode at a Cu sputtering power of 60 W. The photocurrent density and the optimal photocurrent conversion efficiency for the optimum CuO thin film photocathode are found to be −0.3 mA/cm2 and 0.09% at 0.35 V vs. RHE, respectively. These results provide a promising route to fabricating earth-abundant copper-oxide-based photoelectrode for sunlight-driven hydrogen generation using a facile method.

Keywords

Cupric oxide; Oxide thin film; Photocathode; Photoelectrochemical water reduction; Hydrogen production