Hydrogen Production Through Solar-Driven Water Splitting: Cu(I) Oxide-Based Semiconductor Nanoparticles as the Next-Generation Photocatalysts

  • Sanjib Shyamal
  • Ashis Kumar Satpati
  • Arjun MaityEmail author
  • Chinmoy Bhattacharya
Part of the Environmental Chemistry for a Sustainable World book series (ECSW, volume 24)


Production of clean fuels like H2 using renewable sources such as sunlight, through photoelectrochemical (PEC) system, is one of the promising approaches. For large-scale applications of the PEC devices, the photocatalyst used should be of low cost, quite stable, and with high conversion efficiency for H2 production. This chapter describes the application of Cu(I)-based binary and ternary oxide photocatalysts toward solar H2 generation. Due to many advantages of Cu(I)-based oxides, including low bandgap energy, suitable band positions, high charge carrier mobility, and most importantly low cost and nontoxic nature, it has received significant attention in PEC water splitting reaction. Different synthetic routes, electrodeposition, atomic layer deposition, anodization, chemical vapor deposition, e-beam evaporation, pulsed laser deposition, sputtering, successive ionic layer adsorption and reaction, sol-gel, spray pyrolysis, thermal oxidation, etc., have been explored to obtain efficient Cu2O thin films. Employing suitable substrate offering better electrical connectivity facilitates the hole transport mechanism leading to improvement of water reduction process. Various co-catalysts have been identified, and application of different other compounds like metal oxides, carbon-based derivatives, etc. influences the separation of the photogenerated charge carriers, thereby enhancing the overall performance and stability of the materials.


Photoelectrochemical hydrogen production Cu(I) oxide photocatalyst Hole transport mechanism Separation of photogenerated charge carriers Composite layers Suitable co-catalyst Simple and complex oxides 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sanjib Shyamal
    • 1
  • Ashis Kumar Satpati
    • 2
  • Arjun Maity
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  • Chinmoy Bhattacharya
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryIndian Institute of Engineering Science & Technology (IIEST), ShibpurHowrahIndia
  2. 2.Analytical Chemistry DivisionBhabha Atomic Research CentreMumbaiIndia
  3. 3.DST/CSIR Innovation Centre, National Centre for Nanostructured MaterialsPretoriaSouth Africa
  4. 4.Department of Applied ChemistryUniversity of JohannesburgJohannesburgSouth Africa

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