Platinum single-atom catalysts anchored on a heterostructure cupric oxide/copper foam for accelerating photoelectrochemical hydrogen evolution reaction

Hoki son, Ji Hwan Lee, Periyayya Uthirakumar, Vandung Dao, Aloysius Soon, Yeji Lee, In Hwan Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Artificial photosynthesis, the process of producing green hydrogen via photoelectrochemical water splitting, requires the development of highly efficient and stable photoelectrodes. However, photoelectrode development is associated with critical challenges. Herein, we develop a reconfiguration strategy for platinum single-atom catalysts anchored on a cupric oxide/copper heterostructure foam to yield a highly active hydrogen evolution reaction. A cupric oxide/copper heterostructure foam fabricated by a simple chemical oxidation process has high carrier accessibility and abundant electrolyte diffusion pathways. Moreover, its catalytic activity is well maintained, which favors hydrogen production. Additionally, inserting platinum single-atom catalysts reduces the number of precious metals required while ensuring catalytic activity. The proposed photoelectrode enables an impressive hydrogen production of 59.2 μmolh−1cm−2 under 1 sun illumination. This study provides a facile strategy to impart an outstanding surface geometry for platinum single-atom catalysts coupled with a cupric oxide/copper heterostructure foam, which can serve as a photocatalyst for accelerating hydrogen evolution reactions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108904
JournalNano Energy
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Dec 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
In-Hwan Lee received his Ph.D. degree in materials science and engineering from Korea University, Korea in 1997. During 1997–1999, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University. From 2002–2017, he was a faculty member at School of Advanced Materials Engineering, Chonbuk National University, Korea. With the sabbatical grant from LG foundation, he was at Yale University during 2008–2009. In 2017, he joined Department of Materials Engineering, Korea University, Korea as a full professor. His current research focuses on the development of nanotechnology-inspired novel optoelectronic devices including micro/nano LEDs, photovoltaic devices, sensors, and photocatalysts.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government ( MSIT ) ( NRF-2021R1I1A1A01052103 , 2021M3H4A1A02051284 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd


  • Artificial photosynthesis
  • CuO photoelectrode
  • Hydrogen production
  • Nano architecture
  • Single atom catalyst

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Materials Science
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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