Solution-Processed Cu2S Photocathodes for Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting

Yu Xiang Yu, Linfeng Pan, Min Kyu Son, Matthew T. Mayer, Wei De Zhang, Anders Hagfeldt, Jingshan Luo, Michael Grätzel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)


Cu2S has been regarded as a promising solar energy conversion material because of its favorable visible light absorption and earth abundance. Here, we present an indirect preparation method via a solution-processed ion exchange reaction to synthesize stoichiometric Cu2S films with high photoactivity. In addition, we developed a chemical bath deposition method to fabricate CdS buffer layers on Cu2S by adding a reducing agent in the precursor solution, avoiding oxidation of Cu2S. After being coated with the TiO2 protection layer and the RuOx hydrogen evolution catalyst, the Cu2S photoelectrode delivers a photocurrent density of 7.0 mA cm-2 at -0.3 V vs RHE and an onset potential of 0.48 V vs RHE under AM 1.5G simulated sunlight illumination for solar driven water reduction. To our knowledge, this is the first time that Cu2S has been used for solar hydrogen evolution with encouraging performance, which will stimulate further studies on Cu-based photocathodes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)760-766
Number of pages7
JournalACS Energy Letters
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 13 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Materials Chemistry

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    Yu, Y. X., Pan, L., Son, M. K., Mayer, M. T., Zhang, W. D., Hagfeldt, A., Luo, J., & Grätzel, M. (2018). Solution-Processed Cu2S Photocathodes for Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting. ACS Energy Letters, 3(4), 760-766.