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Sandwich-Nanostructured n‑Cu2O/AuAg/p-Cu2O Photocathode with Highly Positive Onset Potential for Improved Water Reduction

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journal contribution
posted on 14.10.2019 by Yu-Chang Lin, Liang-Ching Hsu, Chia-Yu Lin, Chao-Lung Chiang, Che-Min Chou, Wen-Wei Wu, San-Yuan Chen, Yan-Gu Lin
An n-Cu2O layer formed a high-quality buried junction with p-Cu2O to increase the photovoltage and thus to shift the turn-on voltage positively. Mott–Schottky measurements confirmed that the improvement benefited from a positive shift in flat-band potential. The obtained extremely positive onset potential, 0.8 VRHE in n-Cu2O/AuAg/p-Cu2O, is comparable with measurements from water reduction catalysts. The AuAg alloy sandwiched between the homojunction of n-Cu2O and p-Cu2O improved the photocatalytic performance. This alloy both served as an electron relay and promoted electron-hole pair generation in nearby semiconductors; the charge transfer between n-Cu2O and p-Cu2O in the sandwich structure was measured with X-ray absorption spectra. The proposed sandwich structure can be considered as a new direction for the design of efficient solar-related devices.