Berglund, S.; Abdi, F.; Bogdanoff, P.; Chemsseddine, A.; Friedrich, D.; van de Krol, R.: Comprehensive Evaluation of CuBi2O4 as a Photocathode Material for Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting. Chemistry of Materials 28 (2016), p. 4231-4242
CuBi2O4 is a multinary p-type semiconductor that has recently been identified as a promising photocathode material for photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting. It has an optimal bandgap energy (∼1.8 eV) and an exceptionally positive photocurrent onset potential (>1 V vs RHE), making it an ideal candidate for the top absorber in a dual absorber PEC device. However, photocathodes made from CuBi2O4 have not yet demonstrated high photoconversion efficiencies, and the factors that limit the efficiency have not yet been fully identified. In this work we characterize CuBi2O4 photocathodes synthesized by a straightforward drop-casting procedure and for the first time report many of the quintessential material properties that are relevant to PEC water splitting. Our results provide important insights into the limitations of CuBi2O4 in regards to optical absorption, charge carrier transport, reaction kinetics, and stability. This information will be valuable in future work to optimize CuBi2O4 as a PEC material. In addition, we report new benchmark photocurrent density and IPCE values for CuBi2O4 photocathodes.