Nanostructured cuprous oxide synthesized by bipolar electrochemistry
University of New Brunswick
This thesis covers the development of and groundwork for an environmentally benign approach for the fabrication of cuprous oxide (Cu₂O). By controlling the conditions that are applied to the reaction, the successful synthesis of uniform shapes and sizes of Cu₂O particles were achieved. The advantage of this approach over other existing synthesis methods lies in its potential ability to generate non-stoichiometric oxides, which demonstrate different photoelectrochemical and optical properties as compared to a control sample. Furthermore, with varying reaction conditions, there was a slight improvement of the carrier concentration, absorption of light, and photocurrent generation. Scanning electron microscope (SEM)/Transmission electron microscope (TEM) analyses showed that the structures appear to be built from substructures. Data from X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) determined that the nanoparticles are cubic in shape and the product is phase pure. Evidence provided by illuminating the sample under open circuit potential (OCP) conditions indicate that the Cu₂O produced is a P-type semi-conductor.