Science China Materials

, Volume 61, Issue 6, pp 895–904 | Cite as

A dual-electrolyte system for photoelectrochemical hydrogen generation using CuInS2-In2O3-TiO2 nanotube array thin film

  • Charlene Ng
  • Jung-Ho Yun
  • Hui Ling Tan
  • Hao Wu
  • Rose Amal
  • Yun Hau Ng


The utilization of Na2S/Na2SO3 mixture as the electrolyte solution to stabilize sulfide anode in a photoelectrochemical cell for hydrogen evolution generally compromises the current-to-hydrogen efficiency (η-current) of the system. Here, the employment of a dual-electrolyte system, that is, Na2S/Na2SO3 mixture and pH-neutral Na2SO4 as the respective electrolyte solutions in the anode and cathode chambers of a water splitting cell is demonstrated to suppress the photocorrosion of CuInS2-In2O3-TiO2 nanotube (CIS-In2O3-TNT) heterostructure, while simultaneously boosts the η-current. Although n-type CIS and In2O3 nanoparticles can be easily formed on TNT array via facile pulse-assisted electrodeposition method, conformal deposition of the nanoparticles homogeneously on the nanotubes wall with preservation of the TNT hollow structure is shown to be essential for achieving efficient charge generation and separation within the heterostructure. In comparison to Na2S/Na2SO3 solution as the sole electrolyte in both the anode and cathode chambers, introduction of dual electrolyte is shown to not only enhance the photostability of the CIS-In2O3-TNT anode, but also lead to near-unity η-current as opposed to the merely 20% η-current of the single-electrolyte system.


dual-electrolyte hydrogen generation photoelectrochemical TiO2 nanotubes CuInS2 



光电化学电池产氢过程中利用 Na2S/Na2SO3混合物作为电解质溶液稳定硫化物阳极通常会牺牲电流产氢效率(ηcurrent). 本文采用Na2S/Na2SO3和pH中性的Na2SO4分别作为光解水电池的阳极和阴极电解液可有效抑制CuInS2-In2O3-TiO2 (CIS-In2O3-TNT)纳米管杂化结构的光腐蚀, 同时提高ηcurrent. 通过脉冲辅助电沉积法可将n型CIS和In2O3纳米粒子沉积在TNT阵列表面, 在保留TNT原有中空结构的前提下将纳米粒子均匀沉积在纳米管上对于在杂化结构中获得高效电荷聚集和分离非常必要. 与Na2S/Na2SO3单电解液电池相比双电解液的引入不仅提高了CIS-In2O3-TNT阳极的光稳定性, 而且ηcurrent接近于1并远高于单电解液电池(20%).



This work was supported by the Australian Research Council (DP170102895). We thank the UNSW Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre for providing access to all analytical facilities.


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charlene Ng
    • 1
  • Jung-Ho Yun
    • 1
  • Hui Ling Tan
    • 1
  • Hao Wu
    • 1
  • Rose Amal
    • 1
  • Yun Hau Ng
    • 1
  1. 1.Particles and Catalysis Research Group, School of Chemical EngineeringThe University of New South Wales, UNSWSydneyAustralia

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