Carbon nanowires promoted Cu2O/TiO2 nanocomposite for enhanced photoelectrochemical performance

Kassam Ahmed, Yuyin Wang, Yang Bai, Karthikeyan Sekar, Wei Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The use of semiconductors as photoelectrochemical electrodes and photocatalysts has been studied extensively over the last few decades; however, it is challenging to design one single material meeting a wide range of requirements for applications such as photostability, wide light absorbance and earth abundance. In this study, we started with earth-abundant materials, namely TiO 2, Cu 2O and carbon, to design a nanocomposite with TiO 2 nanofibers (NFs) and Cu 2O nanocubes (NCs) connected by carbon nanowires (NWs). The nanocomposite (C/TiO 2/Cu 2O) demonstrated excellent photo(electro)activity under simulated visible light as well as enhanced durability. Morphologies imaged by electron microscopes showed that TiO 2 NFs and Cu 2O NCs were well connected, while thin and long carbon NWs were present throughout the samples and connected the NFs and NCs to form a compact composite. Electrochemical analysis revealed that the band alignment between TiO 2 and Cu 2O was typical for a type-II heterojunction, which is favourable for the separation of photogenerated charge carriers. Moreover, carbon NWs act as bridges, thus facilitating more efficient charge transfer. Overall, this research showed the design and preparation of a nanostructured composite with improved charge transfer and photostability for solar photoelectrochemical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15495-15503
JournalNew journal of chemistry
Volume46
Issue number32
Early online date12 Jul 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2022

Keywords

  • Cu2O
  • TiO2
  • carbon nanowires
  • nanocomposites
  • photo(electro)catalysts

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