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Photodegradation of Stearic Acid Adsorbed on Copper Oxide Heterojunction Thin Films Prepared by Magnetron Sputtering

Department of Engineering Sciences, The Ångström Laboratory, Uppsala University, P.O. Box 534, SE-75121 Uppsala, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
ChemEngineering 2018, 2(3), 40;
Received: 11 August 2018 / Revised: 23 August 2018 / Accepted: 24 August 2018 / Published: 28 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heterogeneous Photocatalysis and Photocatalytic Nanomaterials)
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Nanocrystalline copper oxide thin films were fabricated by reactive DC magnetron sputtering. The structure and optical properties of the films were measured with X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and spectrophotometry. Variations of oxygen partial pressure resulted in oxide composition ranging from Cu, Cu-Cu2O, Cu2O-CuO1−x, and CuO. Optical band transitions at 2.06 eV and 2.55 eV were found for Cu2O corresponding to the direct forbidden and direct allowed interband transitions. For CuO an indirect allowed interband transition was found at 1.28 eV. The photocatalytic activity was determined by quantifying the rate constant and quantum yield (destroyed molecules/photons absorbed) under stearic acid degradation. Photocatalytic activity was found to be highest in mixed-phase films with Cu-Cu2O films the highest. Results from post-annealed Cu-Cu2O and CuO films show similar results. We interpret our results as being due to efficient electron-hole charge separation in the heterojunction films. The obtained quantum yields were generally about ten times lower than for comparable dense TiO2 and WO3 binary oxides, which calls for further studies of the spectral dependence of the quantum yield and electron-hole pair life times for oxides with different purity levels. View Full-Text
Keywords: photocatalysis; copper oxide; heterojunction; stearic acid photocatalysis; copper oxide; heterojunction; stearic acid

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Montero, J.; Österlund, L. Photodegradation of Stearic Acid Adsorbed on Copper Oxide Heterojunction Thin Films Prepared by Magnetron Sputtering. ChemEngineering 2018, 2, 40.

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