Correlation between Deposition Parameters and Hydrogen Production in CuO Nanostructured Thin Films

Gianluca A. Artioli, Alessandro Mancini, Victoria Raissa Barbieri, Matteo C. Quattrini, Eliana Quartarone, Maria Cristina Mozzati, Giovanni Drera, Luigi Ermenegildo Sangaletti, Valentina Gombac, Paolo Fornasiero, Lorenzo Malavasi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, we report a systematic investigation of the role of (i) substrate temperature, (ii) oxygen partial pressure, and (iii) radio frequency (rf) power on the crystal structure and morphology of CuO nanostructured thin films prepared by means of rf-magnetron sputtering starting from a Cu metal target. On selected films, photocatalytic tests have been carried out in order to correlate the structural and morphological properties of the thin films prepared under different conditions with the photocatalytic properties and to find out the key parameters to optimize the CuO nanostructured films. All of the synthesized films were single-phase CuO nanorods of variable diameter between 80 and 200 nm. Better-aligned rods were obtained at relatively low substrate temperatures and from low to intermediate oxygen partial pressures, resulting in more efficient photocatalytic activities. Our investigation suggests a relevant role of the crystallographic orientation of the CuO tenorite film on the photocatalytic activity, as demonstrated by the significant improvement in H2 evolution for highly oriented films.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1510-1520
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrochemistry
  • Materials Science (all)
  • Spectroscopy
  • Surfaces and Interfaces


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