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Proceedings Paper

Development of metal tungstate alloys for photoelectrochemical water splitting
Author(s): D. Prasher; M. Chong; Y. Chang; P. Sarker; M. N. Huda; N. Gaillard
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Paper Abstract

In the present paper, we report our efforts on the development of metal tungstate alloys for efficient and economical photoelectrochemical water splitting. As suggested by density functional theory (DFT), the addition of copper to the host tungsten trioxide improves the visible light absorption. Past studies at the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute have demonstrated that water splitting with co-sputtered and spray-deposited CuWO4 with 2.2 eV band gap was feasible, although the efficiency of the process was severely limited by charge carrier recombination. Density functional theory calculation showed that CuWO4 contains unfilled mid-gap states and high electron effective mass. To improve transport properties of CuWO4, we hypothesized that copper tungstate (CuWO4) hollow nanospheres could improve holes transfer to the electrolyte and reduce recombination, improving the water splitting efficiency. Nanospheres were synthesized by sonochemical technique in which the precursors used were copper acetate, ammonium meta-tungstate and thiourea (used as a fuel to complete the reaction). All chemicals undergo a high-energy sonication by using ethylene glycol as a solvent. Preliminary linear scan voltammetry (LSV) performed for annealed CuWO4 under front side and back side simulated AM-1.5 illumination demonstrated that the CuWO4 hollow nanospheres were photoactive. Subsequent scanning (SEM) and transmission (TEM) electron microscopy studies revealed the clear formation of nano sized hollow spherical shaped CuWO4 particles. X-ray diffraction analysis showed a clear formation of triclinic CuWO4 structure during the sonochemical process.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 September 2013
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 8822, Solar Hydrogen and Nanotechnology VIII, 88220E (16 September 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2026464
Show Author Affiliations
D. Prasher, Univ. of Hawaii at Manoa (United States)
M. Chong, Univ. of Hawaii at Manoa (United States)
Y. Chang, Univ. of Hawaii at Manoa (United States)
P. Sarker, The Univ. of Texas at Arlington (United States)
M. N. Huda, The Univ. of Texas at Arlington (United States)
N. Gaillard, Univ. of Hawaii at Manoa (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8822:
Solar Hydrogen and Nanotechnology VIII
Yosuke Kanai; David Prendergast, Editor(s)

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