Molecular Chemistry-Controlled Hybrid Ink-Derived Efficient Cu2ZnSnS4 Photocathodes for Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting

Wooseok Yang, Yunjung Oh, Jimin Kim, Myung Jin Jeong, Jong Hyeok Park, Jooho Moon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Citations (Scopus)


To realize economically competitive hydrogen production through photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting, it is essential to develop an efficient photoelectrode consisting of earth-abundant constituents in conjunction with low-cost solution processing. Cu2ZnSnS4 (CZTS) has received significant attention as a promising photocathode owing to its abundance and good absorption properties. However, the efficiency of the solution-processed CZTS photocathode is not yet comparable to its counterparts. Here, a hybrid ink, obtained by careful control of precursor mixing order, was used to produce a highly efficient CZTS photocathode. The molecular chemistry-controlled hybrid ink formulation, particularly the roles of thiourea-Sn2+ complexation, was elucidated by liquid Raman spectroscopy. The hybrid ink-derived CZTS thin films modified with conformal coating of an n-type TiO2/CdS double layer and a Pt electrocatalyst achieved an exceptionally high photocurrent of 13 mA cm-2 at -0.2 V versus a reversible hydrogen electrode under 1 sun illumination. The modified photocathodes showed relatively stable H2 production with faradaic efficiency close to unity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1127-1136
Number of pages10
JournalACS Energy Letters
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Dec 9

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea grant funded by the Korean government (MSIP) (2012R1A3A2026417).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Chemical Society.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Materials Chemistry


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