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Keywords:

  • copper;
  • cuprates;
  • electron microscopy;
  • photochemistry;
  • reduction

Abstract

Photocatalysts for solar fuel production are subject to intensive investigation as they constitute one viable route for solar energy harvesting. Cuprous oxide (Cu2O) is a working photocatalyst for hydrogen evolution but it photocorrodes upon light illumination in an aqueous environment. Environmental transmission electron microscopy (ETEM) makes it possible to obtain insight into the local structure, composition and reactivity of catalysts in their working environment, which is of fundamental interest for sustainable energy research and is essential for further material optimization. Herein, photoreduction of Cu2O is studied in situ using a dedicated TEM specimen holder for light illumination.