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Synthesis and modification of CuO/Ga2O4 and Cu2O/Ga2O4 nanostructured films applied in H2 production from water photoelectrochemical reduction of water

Grant number: 19/26860-2
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2020
Effective date (End): February 28, 2022
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Physical-Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Lucia Helena Mascaro Sales
Grantee:Hugo Leandro Sousa dos Santos
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências Exatas e de Tecnologia (CCET). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/07296-2 - CDMF - Center for the Development of Functional Materials, AP.CEPID


The use of solar energy has gained considerable attention because it is a source of high energy capacity, renewable and clean. In this scenario, the conversion of solar energy into chemical energy using low cost technologies such as Photoelectrochemical Cells (PECs) to produce H2 (g) from photoelectrochemical reduction of water has been intensively studied. Thus, the present project proposes to obtain nanostructured CuO/Ga2O3 and Cu2O/Ga2O3 films by simple and inexpensive methods such as anodizing and/or heat treating a metallic copper substrate for CuO and Cu2O layers and pyrolysis spray and/or Liquid-Phase Deposition (LPD) for the Ga2O3 layer. The obtained films will be applied as photocathodes for hydrogen production from the photoelectrochemical reduction of water. In addition, as a way to improve activity, these films will be decorated with Pt and RuOx co-catalyst nanoparticles, and co-catalysts based on abundant elements such as MPx transition metal phosphides (M = Ni, Co and Fe). Finally, if necessary, the application of a protective layer of TiO2 or ZnO will be studied as a way to increase photocathode stability. Nanostructured films will be characterized for morphology, composition and crystal structure by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Energy Dispersive spectroscopy (EDX), X-ray excited Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), Raman spectroscopy and X-Ray Diffraction (DRX) techniques. The optoelectronic properties will be evaluated by the determination of optical band gap energy through diffuse reflectance; or regarding the electronic aspects, determining the flat band potential, carrier density and semiconductor type using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. The photoelectrochemical measurements will be performed in the dark and under illumination by cyclic or linear voltammetry to determine the photocurrent density and the onset potential of the obtained films. (AU)

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
DIAS, JEFERSON A.; ANDRADE JR, MARCOS A. S.; SANTOS, HUGO L. S.; MORELLI, MARCIO R.; MASCARO, LUCIA H. Lanthanum-Based Perovskites for Catalytic Oxygen Evolution Reaction. CHEMELECTROCHEM, v. 7, n. 15 JUN 2020. Web of Science Citations: 1.

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