• Son, M.K.; Pan, L.; Mayer, Matthew T.; Hagfeldt, A.; Grätzel, M.; Luo, J.: Structural and Compositional Investigations on the Stability of Cuprous Oxide Nanowire Photocathodes for Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 13 (2021), p. 55080-55091


Cuprous oxide (Cu2O) is a promising photocathode material for photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting. Recently, the PEC performances of Cu2O-based devices have been considerably improved by introducing nanostructures, semiconductor overlayers, and hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) catalysts. However, Cu2O devices still suffer from poor stability in aqueous solution, especially in strong acidic or alkaline conditions, despite the use of an intrinsically stable oxide overlayer as a protection layer. Thus, it is essential to fully understand the stability of the entire Cu2O photocathodes in these conditions for establishing suitable protection strategies to achieve durable PEC water splitting. In this work, the stability of bare and protected Cu2O nanowire (NW) photocathodes was evaluated in detail using microscopy techniques and compositional analyses. The insights gained in this work will guide the design and synthesis of durable photoelectrodes for PEC water splitting.