Stability and Self-passivation of Copper Vanadate Photoanodes under Chemical, Electrochemical, and Photoelectrochemical Operation

Zhou, L. et al. Stability and Self-passivation of Copper Vanadate Photoanodes under Chemical, Electrochemical, and Photoelectrochemical Operation. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, DOI: 10.1039/C6CP00473C (2016). 


Scientific Achievement

Self-passivation under operational conditions is observed for several copper vanadate photoanodes, demonstrating their viability for durable solar fuels devices.

Significance & impact

Long-term stability is being increasingly recognized as a critical requirement for deploying solar fuels technology. Through a series of detailed evaluations of their stability, we demonstrated that copper vanadates can self-passivate in pH 9 electrolyte, further bolstering their promise as technology-enabling materials. 

Research Details

–Copper vanadate composition libraries were synthesized by reactive sputtering and characterized using a combination of synchrotron and benchtop X-ray diffraction techniques.
–Stability was assessed by computationalcalculations of Pourbaix behavior for Cu-V-H2O systems.
–Stability was evaluated by experimental measurements of bulk and near-surface composition alternations resulting from chemical, electrochemical, and photoelectrochemical operation.
 

Reprinted with permission from Zhou, L. et al. Stability and Self-passivation of Copper Vanadate Photoanodes under Chemical, Electrochemical, and Photoelectrochemical Operation. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, DOI: 10.1039/C6CP00473C (2016). 

Reprinted with permission from Zhou, L. et al. Stability and Self-passivation of Copper Vanadate Photoanodes under Chemical, Electrochemical, and Photoelectrochemical Operation. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, DOI: 10.1039/C6CP00473C (2016). 

The composition, V/(V+Cu), of the bulk and near-surface before and after a (a) 48 hour chemical soak, (b) 2 hour electrochemical operation, and (c) 40 min PEC operation. Reprinted with permission from Zhou, L. et al. Stability and Self-passivation of Copper Vanadate Photoanodes under Chemical, Electrochemical, and Photoelectrochemical Operation. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, DOI: 10.1039/C6CP00473C (2016). 

The composition, V/(V+Cu), of the bulk and near-surface before and after a (a) 48 hour chemical soak, (b) 2 hour electrochemical operation, and (c) 40 min PEC operation. Reprinted with permission from Zhou, L. et al. Stability and Self-passivation of Copper Vanadate Photoanodes under Chemical, Electrochemical, and Photoelectrochemical Operation. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, DOI: 10.1039/C6CP00473C (2016).