Cuprous Oxide as a Semiconductor Material

Following the progress in Russia-Ukraine peace talks, the gold price fell more than 1% the next day, hitting its lowest in a month, and palladium prices briefly tumbled by nearly 9%.

"We have seen metal prices going into free fall when the Russia-Ukraine situation is likely to see a major detente, which spurred people's risk preference and optimism that the war could end at a time," said OANDA senior market analyst.

A Russian deputy defense minister says Moscow has decided to sharply curtail its military activities around Kyiv and Chernikov in Ukraine, following talks between Russian and Ukrainian representatives in Istanbul.

Where the prices of metals, natural gas, and commodities like the Cu2O powder will go in the future, is still very uncertain.

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.
 
Cu2O Powder Price
The price is influenced by many factors including the supply and demand in the market, industry trends, economic activity, market sentiment, and unexpected events.
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Commodities such as crude oil, wheat, cotton, and nickel have rallied since Russia's "special military operations" began in late February. On the last trading day of this quarter, commodities were on track for their biggest gain since 1990. For this reason, it is expected that the price of the Cu2O powder will continue to increase.

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