High Throughput Studies of Cubi2O4 Photocathodes for Solar H2 Production
Marine Cornet a, David Kérinec b, Ronen Gottesman c
a Polytech Orléans, 8 rue Léonard de Vinci, 45072, Orléans, France
b Polytech Nantes, Campus Chanterie, rue Christian Paux, 44306, Nantes, France
c Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie GmbH, Germany, Berlin, Germany
Proceedings of nanoGe Fall Meeting19 (NGFM19)
#SolFuel19. Solar Fuel Synthesis: From Bio-inspired Catalysis to Devices
Berlin, Germany, 2019 November 3rd - 8th
Organizers: Roel van de Krol and Erwin Reisner
Poster, Ronen Gottesman, 441
Publication date: 18th July 2019

Photo-electrochemical (PEC) water splitting directly produces H2 from water and sunlight using semiconductor photoabsorbers. However, the rate in which traditional methodologies identify, study, and optimize materials is lagging behind the increasing demand for more efficient materials. The photoabsorber CuBi2O4 is gaining a significant interest recently as a photocathode (p-type semiconductor) material for PEC water splitting due to its appealing electronic properties. Its bandgap of ~ 1.8 eV is suitable to harvest a substantial portion of the visible solar spectrum, whereas its conduction band is located at a more negative potential than the reduction potential of H+/H2, enabling solar H2 production. However, the development of CuBi2O4 photocathodes still suffers from poor charge separation and transport in the film’s bulk, and low photoelectrochemical stability in aqueous solutions, a common challenge in photocathodes containing copper. To further improve the study and development of CuBi2O4 photocathodes, it is necessary to synthesize them with high quality and purity, minimizing impurities and defects, towards increasing their photocurrents densities and stability. We have used pulsed laser deposition (PLD) and its capability to create CuBi2O4 libraries with continuous thickness gradients under different processing conditions, and utilized high throughput (combinatorial) methodologies to identify, and study critical parameters to improve the fabrication of and quality of CuBi2O4 photoelectrodes.

We thank Dr. Thomas Unold and Pascal Becker for the use of the UV-VIS scanner, and Priv.-Doz. Dr. Daniel Abou-Ras for performing the SEM images.

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