Exciton Quenching Due to Copper Diffusion Limits the Photocatalytic Activity of CdS/Cu2S Nanorod Heterostructures Academic Article uri icon


  • The formation of donor/acceptor junctions in hybrid nanomaterials is predicted to enhance photocatalytic activity as compared to single-component semiconductor systems. Specifically, nanomaterials containing a junction of n-type cadmium sulfide (CdS) and p-type copper sulfide (Cu2S) formed via cation exchange have been proposed as potential photocatalysts for reactions such as water splitting. Herein, we study the elemental distribution of Cu within these nanostructures using analytical transmission electron microscopy techniques. The resulting effects of this elemental distribution on photocatalytic activity and charge dynamics were further studied using a model photoreduction reaction and transient absorption spectroscopy. We find that copper diffusion in the hybrid nanostructure quenches the exciton lifetime and results in low photocatalytic activity; …

publication date

  • January 1, 2014