Nanoporous structures of a p-type semiconductor, delafossite CuAlO2, with a high crystallinity have been fabricated through an inorganic/polymer double-gel process and characterized for the first time via Mott-Schottky measurements. The effect of the precursor concentration, calcination temperature, and atmosphere were examined to achieve high crystallinity and photoelectrochemical properties while maximizing the porosity. The optical properties of the nanoporous CuAlO2 are in good agreement with the literature with an optical band gap of 3.9 eV, and the observed high electrical conductivity and hole concentrations conform to highly crystalline and well-sintered nanoparticles observed in the product. The Mott-Schottky plot from the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy studies indicates a flat-band potential of 0.49 V versus Ag/AgCl. It is concluded that CuAlO2 exhibits band energies very close to those of NiO but with electrical properties very desirable in the fabrication of photoelectrochemical devices including dye-sensitized solar cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry