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Nanofiber-supported CuS nanoplatelets as high efficiency counter electrodes for quantum dot-based photoelectrochemical hydrogen production
Centre for Energy, Materials and Telecommunications, Institut national de la recherche scientifique.
Centre for Energy, Materials and Telecommunications, Institut national de la recherche scientifique.
Centre for Energy, Materials and Telecommunications, Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique.
Centre for Energy, Materials and Telecommunications, Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, School of Chemistry and Material Science, Guizhou Normal University.
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Number of Authors: 13
2017 (English)In: Materials Chemistry Frontiers, ISSN 2052-1537, Vol. 1, no 1, 65-72 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We developed a hierarchically assembled hybrid counter electrode (CE) based on copper sulfide (CuS) nanoplatelets grown on polymer nanofibers. The resulting CE was used in a quantum dot (QD)-based photoelectrochemical (PEC) system for H2 generation in the presence of sacrificial agents (S2−/SO32−). The concept is to increase the specific surface area of the CE, aiming at maximizing charge exchange at the electrode, which boosts efficient generation of H2 and to obtain a stable structure for long-term operation of the device. Structural and morphological characterization indicated the presence of a covellite crystalline phase (CuS). PEC tests showed that the CuS nanoplatelets grown in the CEs could replace Pt CEs in either visible-active or near infrared (NIR)-active QD-based PEC systems. Specifically, saturation of the photocurrent density (∼7.5 mA cm−2) occurred at ∼0.6 V versus the RHE, when using a NIR QD-based TiO2 photoanode and a nanofiber-supported CuS as the CE. Stability tests of the nanofiber-supported CuS CE showed that 85% of the initial photocurrent density was maintained after ∼1 h, which is similar to that obtained with the Pt foil CE (86%). In contrast, CuS nanostructures directly deposited on FTO glass without nanofibers (CuS/FTO CE) exhibited poor stability. CuS/FTO CE degraded quickly, showing a 90% drop in the initial photocurrent within 200 s testing whereas a 14% drop in the initial photocurrent was observed for the CuxS on brass within 10 min of testing. Our new nanofiber supported-CuS CE stands out due to its higher performance compared to brass and its similar stability compared to Pt during long term PEC operation. Additionally, our hybrid CE showed a better catalytic performance than the Pt CE and good stability in cyclic voltammetry tests. These results demonstrate that the nanofiber-supported CuS is a promising cost effective alternative to Pt as a highly efficient CE for PEC H2 generation

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 1, no 1, 65-72 p.
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Other Physics Topics
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Experimental physics
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URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-60567DOI: 10.1039/C6QM00144KOAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-60567DiVA: diva2:1048083
Available from: 2016-11-20 Created: 2016-11-20 Last updated: 2016-12-04Bibliographically approved

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Vomiero, Alberto
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