Facile Spray Deposition of Photocatalytic ZnO/Cu–In-Zn-S Heterostructured Composite Thin Film

Kai Yu Yang, Han Wen Hsu, Hsin Yi Hsieh, Wei Chieh Chang, Meng Chi Li, Po Chang Lin, Cheng Chung Lee, Cheng Liang Liu, Tai Chou Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We present a sprayed composite thin film, comprising Cu−In-Zn−S (CIZS) particles embedded in ZnO matrix for photoelectrochemical hydrogen production from water splitting. CIZS, a photoactive semiconductor was used as a photon absorber, whereas ZnO channels as the pathway for charge transfer. It was found that the distribution of the CIZS particles had a direct impact on the photoelectrochemical (PEC) activity. A more homogeneous dispersion of smaller CIZS particles (0.56 μm) within ZnO matrix exhibited a higher photocurrent density, and 3.27 μmol/ cm2 hydrogen evolution for 5 h. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) was employed to analyze the charge transfer mechanism of this composite thin film. In addition, ZnO coating on top of CIZS particles also served as the adhesion and protection layers. All the PEC experiments were performed in 0.5 M K2SO4 electrolyte. No sacrificial reagents were used. The composite electrode was stable under illumination: 75.67 % of photo-activity remained after 1 h illumination at a bias of 0.2 V vs. SCE. This study demonstrates a simple and low-cost spray preparation of composite thin film consisting of particles embedded in any semiconductor matrix.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4979-4986
Number of pages8
Issue number15
StatePublished - 16 Sep 2016


  • Electrodes
  • Heterogeneous catalysis
  • Photoelectrochemistry
  • Semiconductors
  • Water splitting


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