Electrochemically and chemically deposited polycrystalline CdSe electrodes with high photoelectrochemical performance by recycling from waste films. Materials Science in Semiconducting Processing
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Waste CdSe film electrodes can be recycled into useful films without sacrificing their photoelectrochemical performance. Cd2+ aqueous ions have been recovered from waste CdSe electrodes by soaking in minimal amount of HCl (10.0 M) at 80 ºC for 60 min. The Se2- ions, which were converted into H2Se(g) by the acid, were trapped in basic NaOH solution for further use.  The recovered Cd2+ ions were used to deposit new (recycled) CdSe film electrodes onto fluorine doped tin oxide films (FTO/Glass) using aqueous Na2SeSO3 solutions by two methods. Electrochemical deposition (ECD) has been performed using applied potential (-1.0 V vs Ag/AgCl). Chemical bath deposition (CBD) has been performed in a basic medium at 70 ºC. Both ECD and CBD recycled films have been prepared using recovered Cd2+ solutions, whereas fresh films have been prepared using fresh solutions. In both cases, the recycled CdSe films did not show any inferior characteristics to the freshly prepared counterparts.  Effects of annealing at 150 ºC and cooling rate on physical and photoelectrochemical (PEC) characteristics have been studied for different CdSe film electrodes. In both recycled and fresh systems, the CBD film electrodes exhibit enhanced uniformity, compactness and photo-electrochemical (PEC) performance by annealing. Upon annealing, the recycled and fresh ECD films exhibit less film uniformity and compactness, and consequently lower PEC performance. In ECD and CBD films, fast cooling is advantageous over slow cooling. Conversion efficiency values of ~8% are observed for the CBD recycled pristine films once carefully annealed and quickly cooled. This is higher than literature values for pristine CdSe (~5%), TiO2/CdS/CdSe (~4%) film electrodes, and resembles that for Tl/ CdSe0.65Te0.35 (~8) multi-layer systems. The results show the feasibility of recycling waste CdSe film electrodes.

Materials Science in Semiconductor Processing
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Thomson Reuters
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