Composition-Dependent Functionality of Copper Vanadate Photoanodes

Chang Ming Jiang, Gideon Segev, Lucas H. Hess, Guiji Liu, Gregory Zaborski, Francesca M. Toma, Jason K. Cooper, Ian D. Sharp*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


To understand functional roles of constituent elements in ternary metal oxide photoanodes, essential photoelectrochemical (PEC) properties are systematically analyzed on a series of copper vanadate compounds with different Cu:V elemental ratios. Homogeneous and highly continuous thin films of β-Cu2V2O7, γ-Cu3V2O8, Cu11V6O26, and Cu5V2O10 are grown via reactive co-sputtering and their performance characteristics for the light-driven oxygen evolution reaction are evaluated. All four compounds have similar bandgaps in the range of 1.83-2.03 eV, though Cu-rich phases exhibit stronger optical absorption and higher charge separation efficiencies. Transient photocurrent analysis reveals a reduction of surface catalytic activity with increasing Cu:V elemental ratio due to competitive charge recombination at Cu-related surface states. This comprehensive analysis of PEC functionalities - including photon absorption, carrier separation, and heterogeneous charge transfer - informs strategies for improving PEC activity in the copper vanadate materials system and provides insights that may aid discovery, design, and engineering of new photoelectrode materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10627-10633
Number of pages7
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number13
StatePublished - 4 Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
DOE Energy Innovation Hub
Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis
U.S. Department of EnergyDE-SC0004993
Office of Science


    • copper vanadate
    • photoanode
    • photoelectrochemistry
    • surface states
    • transient photocurrent analysis
    • water oxidation


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