Ultralight, Flexible, and Semi-Transparent Metal Oxide Papers for Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting

Minwei Zhang, Chengyi Hou, Arnab Halder, Qijin Chi

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Thanks to their versatile functionality, metal oxides (MOs) constitute one of the key family materials in a variety of current demands for sensor, catalysis, energy storage and conversion, optical electronics, and piezoelectric mechanics. Much effort has focused on engineering specific nanostructure and macroscopic morphology of MOs that aims to enhance their performances, but the design and controlled synthesis of ultrafine nanostructured MOs in a cost-effective and facile way remains a challenge. In this work, we have exploited the advantages of intrinsic structures of graphene oxide (GO) papers, serving as a sacrificial template, to design and synthesize two-dimensional (2D) layered and free-standing MO papers with ultrafine nanostructures. Physicochemical characterizations showed that these MO materials are nanostructured, porous, flexible, and ultralight. The as-synthesized materials were tested for their potential application in photoelectrochemical (PEC) energy conversion. In terms of PEC water splitting, copper oxide papers were used as an example and exhibited excellent performances with an extremely high photocurrent-to-weight ratio of 3 A cm-2 g-1. We have also shown that the synthesis method is generally valid for many earth-abundant transition metals including copper, nickel, iron, cobalt, and manganese.
Original languageEnglish
JournalA C S Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)3922-3930
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • 2D nanomaterial
  • Graphene oxide paper
  • Tempated synthesis
  • Ultralight metal oxide
  • Photoelectrochemical water splitting
  • Hydrogen generation


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