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Information @ a Glance

Introduction

  • Cuprous oxide ( copper (I) oxide Cu2O) is found in nature as cuprite and formed on copper by heat. It is a red color crystal used as a pigment and fungicide.
  • Cuprous oxide is selected for the fabrication of p-n homo-junction because it has better crystallinity, bigger grains, better control over crystal quality and a direct band gap.
  • Cuprous Oxide is an inexpensive and non - toxic semiconductor material with potential use in low - cost solar energy converting devices.

Process

  • The most important methods for the production of Cu2O are by thermal oxidation, electrodeposition and
    by sputtering.
  • Thermal oxidation - The procedure involves the oxidation of high purity copper at an elevated temperature (1000 1,500 0C) for times ranging from few hours to few minutes depending on the thickness of the starting material (for total oxidation) and the desired thickness of Cu2O (for partial oxidation).
  • Electrodeposition - Thin films of Cu2O can be electrodeposited by cathodic reduction of an alkaline cupric lactate solution, either on metallic substrates or on transparent conducting glass slides coated with highly conducting semiconductors
  • Sputtering - The method requires very low pressure in the working space and therefore makes use of vacuum technique. The material to be sputtered is used as a cathode in the system in which a glow discharge is established in an inert gas at a pressure of 10-1 10-2 torr and a voltage of a few kilovolts.

Uses

  • Cu2O is a prospective candidate for a low-cost photovoltaic power generator because of its high optical absorption coe cient and reasonably good photovoltaic properties .
  • Cuprous oxide is commonly used as a pigment, a fungicide, and an antifouling agent for marine paints.
  • Cuprous oxide, a semiconductor material has a direct band gap of about 2 eV. It is used for LED lamps.

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