Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics

, Volume 29, Issue 24, pp 20629–20638 | Cite as

Network-like CuInS2 photocathode and modified with noble metal co-catalyst for photoelectrochemical water splitting

  • Qijun Cai
  • Zhifeng LiuEmail author
  • Chonghao Ma
  • Zhengfu Tong
  • Changcun Han


It is of great significance to explore new preparation methods and control the morphology and proportion of metal ions for the photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting of ternary sulfide photoelectrode. In this paper, the network-like CuInS2 film photocathodes were firstly prepared by hydrothermal growth method. The effects of different [Cu2+]/[In3+] molar ratios and concentrations of growth solution on CuInS2 films were investigated in detail. The mechanism of the synthetic reaction was studied. The best PEC photocurrent density of the CuInS2 film photoelectrode is − 0.81 mA/cm2 at − 0.6 V versus RHE when the [Cu2+]/[In3+] molar ratio is 0.4, the growth solution concentration is 8 mmol/L CuCl2·2H2O, 20 mmol/L InCl3·4H2O and 60 mmol/L C2H5NS. For the purpose of further improving photoelectrochemical properties of CuInS2 thin films, the Pt co-catalyst was loaded. The synthesized CuInS2–Pt thin film yielded a photocurrent density for − 1.92 mA/cm2 at − 0.6 V versus RHE due to the fast photogenerated electrons capture ability of Pt co-catalyst. The method of constructing photoelectrode film and the co-catalyst mechanism contributes to a sensational way for PEC water splitting of sulfide.



This work was financially supported by the Open Foundation of Hubei Collaborative Innovation Center for High-efficient Utilization of Solar Energy (No. HBSKFZD2017001), National Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51702092), Hubei Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 2018CFB282) and Science Foundation of Hubei University of Technology (Grant No. BSQD2017065).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qijun Cai
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zhifeng Liu
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Chonghao Ma
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zhengfu Tong
    • 1
    • 2
  • Changcun Han
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Hubei Collaborative Innovation Center for High-efficiency Utilization of Solar EnergyHubei University of TechnologyWuhanChina
  2. 2.School of ScienceHubei University of TechnologyWuhanChina
  3. 3.School of Materials Science and EngineeringTianjin Chengjian UniversityTianjinChina

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