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Electrochemical synthesis of Sb2Se3 modified with cobalt and co-catalyst for solar water splitting

Grant number: 21/11818-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2021
Effective date (End): October 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Physical-Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Lucia Helena Mascaro Sales
Grantee:Beatriz Rodrigues Lopes de Souza
Host Institution: Centro de Ciências Exatas e de Tecnologia (CCET). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/07296-2 - CDMF - Center for the Development of Functional Materials, AP.CEPID


The search for a safe, clean and abundant energy source is one of the greatest scientific challenges of the 21st century. Therefore, the use of solar energy is a promising alternative to make sustainable use of carbon-free energy. This allows us to investigate ways that use solar energy in photoelectrocatalysis processes in the production of hydrogen gas through solar water splitting. The use of thin films of Sb2Se3 in photovoltaic and photoelectrochemical applications has been a new alternative for semiconductor materials as it presents adequate optical bandgap energy between 1.10 - 1.17 eV and high absorption coefficient in ultraviolet and visible (± = > 105 cm-1) compared to other commonly used absorbers. Furthermore, its obtaining by electrochemical methods is a good alternative for manufacturing a highly promising semiconductor using versatile techniques, with low energy consumption and easy handling. To improve the photoelectrocatalytic properties of thin films, doping is a technique often used to influence material properties. Since cobalt is a corrosion resistant transition metal and good thermal and electrical conductor, it becomes a good alternative to modify Sb2Se3 films with cobalt ions to improve its catalytic properties for solar water splitting in hydrogen production. To complete the device, it is necessary the presence of co-catalysts for hydrogen evolution reaction, such as Pt or a-MoSx, to improve kinetic factors and reduce photocorrosion effects. Therefore, this project aims to manufacture a device of the FTO/Co:Sb2Se3/co-catalyst type by simplified electrodeposition methods so that an efficient and durable system can be obtained through the hydrogen release reaction. (AU)

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