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Title: Cu2O Photocathode for Low Bias Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting Enabled by NiFe-Layered Double Hydroxide Co-Catalyst
Authors: Qi, Huan
Wolfe, Jonathan
Fichou, Denis
Chen, Zhong
Keywords: Photocatalysis
Chemical Physics
Issue Date: 2016
Source: Qi, H., Wolfe, J., Fichou, D., & Chen, Z. (2016). Cu2O Photocathode for Low Bias Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting Enabled by NiFe-Layered Double Hydroxide Co-Catalyst. Scientific Reports, 6, 30882-.
Series/Report no.: Scientific Reports
Abstract: Layered double hydroxides (LDHs) are bimetallic hydroxides that currently attract considerable attention as co-catalysts in photoelectrochemical (PEC) systems in view of water splitting under solar light. A wide spectrum of LDHs can be easily prepared on demand by tuning their chemical composition and structural morphology. We describe here the electrochemical growth of NiFe-LDH overlayers on Cu2O electrodes and study their PEC behavior. By using the modified Cu2O/NiFe-LDH electrodes we observe a remarkable seven-fold increase of the photocurrent intensity under an applied voltage as low as −0.2 V vs Ag/AgCl. The origin of such a pronounced effect is the improved electron transfer towards the electrolyte brought by the NiFe-LDH overlayer due to an appropriate energy level alignment. Long-term photostability tests reveal that Cu2O/NiFe-LDH photocathodes show no photocurrent loss after 40 hours of operation under light at −0.2 V vs Ag/AgCl low bias condition. These improved performances make Cu2O/NiFe-LDH a suitable photocathode material for low voltage H2 production. Indeed, after 8 hours of H2 production under −0.2 V vs Ag/AgCl the PEC cell delivers a 78% faradaic efficiency. This unprecedented use of Cu2O/NiFe-LDH as an efficient photocathode opens new perspectives in view of low biasd or self-biased PEC water splitting under sunlight illumination.
ISSN: 2045-2322
DOI: 10.1038/srep30882
Schools: School of Materials Science & Engineering 
School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences 
Interdisciplinary Graduate School (IGS) 
Rights: © 2016 The Author(s). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:IGS Journal Articles
MSE Journal Articles
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