Copper oxide-based photocatalysts and photocathodes: Fundamentals and recent advances

Tomasz Baran, Alberto Visibile, Michael Busch, Xiufang He, Szymon Wojtyla, Sandra Rondinini, Alessandro Minguzzi*, Alberto Vertova

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
112 Downloads (Pure)


This work aims at reviewing the most impactful results obtained on the development of Cu-based photocathodes. The need of a sustainable exploitation of renewable energy sources and the parallel request of reducing pollutant emissions in airborne streams and in waters call for new technologies based on the use of efficient, abundant, low-toxicity and low-cost materials. Photoelectrochemical devices that adopts abundant element-based photoelectrodes might respond to these requests being an enabling technology for the direct use of sunlight to the production of energy fuels form water electrolysis (H2) and CO2 reduction (to alcohols, light hydrocarbons), as well as for the degradation of pollutants. This review analyses the physical chemical properties of Cu2O (and CuO) and the possible strategies to tune them (doping, lattice strain). Combining Cu with other elements in multinary oxides or in composite photoelectrodes is also discussed in detail. Finally, a short overview on the possible applications of these materials is presented.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7271
Number of pages46
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021
MoE publication typeA2 Review article, Literature review, Systematic review


  • CO2 reduction reaction
  • Cu2O
  • CuO
  • Hydrogen evolution reaction
  • Photocatalysis
  • Photoelectrochemistry
  • Water splitting


Dive into the research topics of 'Copper oxide-based photocatalysts and photocathodes: Fundamentals and recent advances'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this