Water-resistant perovskite-inspired copper/silver pnictohalide nanocrystals for photoelectrochemical water splitting

Maning Liu, G. Krishnamurthy Grandhi, Basheer Al-Anesi, Harri Ali-Löytty, Kimmo Lahtonen, Roberto Grisorio, Paola Vivo

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Lead halide perovskites (LHPs) photoelectrodes for photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting are promising candidates for solar-to-fuel conversion. However, the poor stability of LHPs in aqueous electrolyte media, together with the toxicity of lead, restricts the practical application of LHP photoelectrodes. Herein, we report the first-ever colloidal synthesis of quaternary Cu1.4Ag0.6BiI5 nanocrystals (NCs), a new lead-free perovskite-inspired nanomaterial, by a facile hot injection method. The Cu1.4Ag0.6BiI5 NCs exhibit an extraordinary water resistance, due to the well-defined coverage of hydrophobic ligands on the surface of NCs with unique layered cation disordered structure. Together with their high structural stability, the Cu1.4Ag0.6BiI5 NCs-based photoanode displays a maximum photocurrent density of 4.62 mA cm−2 at 1.23 V vs. reversible hydrogen electrode, and an applied bias photo-to-current efficiency of 2.94% without any protective layer. Our study highlights the great potential of lead-free Cu1.4Ag0.6BiI5 NCs-based photoelectrodes for a wide range of low-cost, eco-friendly, and high-performance PEC applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number142734
JournalElectrochimica Acta
Early online date14 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Applied bias photo-to-current efficiency
  • Lead-free nanocrystals
  • Oxygen evolution
  • Perovskite-inspired materials
  • Photoelectrochemical water splitting
  • Water-resistant

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Electrochemistry


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