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Photoelectrochemical Hydrogen Production by Screen-Printed Copper Oxide Electrodes


In this work, copper oxides-based photocathodes for photoelectrochemical cells (PEC) were produced for the first time by screen printing. A total 7 × 10−3 g/m2 glycerine trioleate was found as optimum deflocculant amount to assure stable and homogeneous inks, based on CuO nano-powder. The inks were formulated considering different binder amounts and deposited producing films with homogenous thickness, microstructure, and roughness. The as-produced films were thermally treated to obtain Cu2O- and Cu2O/CuO-based electrodes. The increased porosity obtained by adding higher amounts of binder in the ink positively affected the electron transfer from the surface of the electrode to the electrolyte, thus increasing the corresponding photocurrent values. Moreover, the Cu2O/CuO system showed a higher charge carrier and photocurrent density than the Cu2O-based one. The mixed Cu2O/CuO films allowed the most significant hydrogen production, especially in slightly acid reaction conditions.

Funding source: MINISTRY OF DEFENCE, ITALY in the frame of the project SOS-Wate
Related subjects: Production & Supply Chain
Countries: Italy

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