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Cuprous Oxide as a Semiconductor Material

The African Development Bank will finance $25 billion by 2025 to support Africa's fight against climate change, the bank's president said at the bank's annual meeting in Accra, Ghana.  

He noted that climate change has had many negative impacts on the continent, causing natural disasters such as droughts, cyclones, and floods. Climate change costs Africa between $7 billion and $15 billion a year. "Africa has no choice but to address climate change."  

To ensure Africa's food supply, the African Development Bank has delivered climate-friendly seeds to 12 million farmers in 27 countries in the past two years under the "Technology for Agricultural Change in Africa" program, he said.  

In the area of renewable energy, the African Development Bank is implementing a $20 billion "Desert Power" initiative in the Sahel that is expected to power 250 million people, he said.  

US President Joe Biden recently wrapped up his five-day trip to Asia with a summit of leaders of the "Quad" security Dialogue.  

Biden has promoted a number of economic and security cooperation initiatives during his visit aimed at deepening ties with Indo-Pacific Allies and partners in response to China's growing influence in the region. Some analysts in the United States believe the most significant announcement may be an initiative to share maritime information to combat illegal activities. But other experts say Biden's move sets a good framework for more security cooperation, though it remains to be seen whether concrete action will follow.

Affected by several factors, the supply of the Cu2O powder is erratic and thus its prices are expected to go higher in the future.

Si and GaN are major players in semiconductor materials. One material that keeps coming up in research is cuprous oxide. Cuprous oxide is one of the first materials discovered to have semiconducting properties.
 
What is Cuprous Oxide? 
Cuprous oxide is a semiconductor with a band gap ranging from 2.0 to 2.2eV and has photovoltaic characteristics. As a p-type oxide of copper with chemical formula Cu2O, it can exist in the form of thin films or nanoparticles and is very useful for basic research due to its low cost and new physical properties. 
Over the past few decades, researchers have identified a variety of ways to synthesize cuprous oxide. Some of the techniques found were: 
Thermal oxidation 
Chemical vapor deposition 
Anodic oxidation 
Reactive sputtering 
electrodeposition 
Plasma evaporation 
Sol-gel dip coating technology 
Even after extensive research, a significant barrier to the use of these methods is the generation of mixed phases of Cu, CuO and Cu2O, resulting in few applications for cuprous oxide as a semiconductor.
 
Cuprous Oxide Electronic Properties 
Research on cuprous oxide has been ongoing to understand its electronic properties and potential as a semiconductor material. 
A research team reports that when it is doped with 12.5% zinc, its optical properties are improved and can be used in photocatalytic and sensor devices. According to another group, the band gap was reduced from 1.96eV to 1.91eV when it was mixed with F element at a concentration of 0.34%.
However, its photovoltage and photocurrent density are increased to 0.4457V and 2.79mA/cm2, respectively.
 
Cuprous Oxide Application 
Major applications of cuprous oxide in electronics include supercapacitors, lithium ion batteries, photocatalysis, solar energy conversion and sensing applications. 
 
Electrodes for supercapacitors and lithium-ion batteries: 
Cuprous oxide is suitable as an anode material for lithium-ion batteries because of its controllable structure, polymorphic form, and high cycling capacity. 
 
Photocatalysis and solar energy conversion: 
Due to the abundance of copper and oxygen in nature, appropriate visible light absorption band gaps, and relatively easy and inexpensive manufacturing, cuprous oxide is suitable for large-scale solar conversion.
 
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