Photo-Responsive Doped 3D-Printed Copper Electrodes for Water Splitting: Refractory One-Pot Doping Dramatically Enhances the Performance

Christian Iffelsberger, Daniel Rojas, Martin Pumera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

3D-printed electrochemical systems and devices are highly interesting due to their customizability and point-of-need fabrication capabilities. The most common and accessible fused deposition modeling (FDM) often requires modification of the resulting material, usually by atomic layer deposition or electrodeposition. We show doping of FDM-printed copper electrodes with metal oxide crystals via a one-pot preparation step. We will show that such doped materials have dramatically enhanced photoelectrochemical properties. We utilize the fact that the copper/polylactic acid filament requires the sintering of 3D-printed parts as a post-printing procedure to form electrically conductive devices useful for electrochemical applications. Thermally stable refractory materials (i.e., graphite or Al2O3) are mandatory for the sintering process to support the 3D-printed structure. Such refractory materials can dope the surface of the 3D-printed electrode in a one-pot process. For example, here, the Al2O3 microcrystals dramatically affect the measured photocurrents and the performance of the photoelectrodes. The detailed investigation using scanning photoelectrochemical microscopy to image electro- and photoelectrochemical-generated H2 and O2 offers spatially resolved information about the photoelectrochemical activity. Therefore, the presented work will have profound implications for the design and fabrication of metal-based electrochemical and photoelectrochemical 3D-printed devices because the doping method can be transferred to other metals and refractory materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9016-9026
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Volume126
Issue number21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jun 2

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
M.P. acknowledges the financial support by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (GACR EXPRO: 19-26896X). C.I. acknowledges the financial support by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 888797. C.I. and D.R. gratefully acknowledge the CzechNanoLab project LM2018110 funded by MEYS CR for the financial support of the measurements/sample fabrication at the CEITEC Nano Research Infrastructure.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Chemical Society.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Energy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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