Cuprous Oxide as a Semiconductor Material
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The US President recently said the conflict between Russia and Ukraine had driven up the prices of all the world's major food staples, including wheat, corn, barley, oilseeds and edible oils, and that Russia and Ukraine together supplied more than 25% of the world's wheat exports and about 20% of its barley exports.
To address the food shortage, the Biden administration says it plans to increase the number of counties eligible for insurance for double cropping. Double cropping is when farmers grow two different crops a year on the same field.
Under Biden's plan, the number of counties eligible for two-season crop insurance would increase by 681, for a total of 1,935.
The UN has warned that up to 1.7bn people are "highly exposed" to the domino effect of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine on the global food, energy, and financial systems. The agency says conflict could increase hunger in countries where people are already suffering from malnutrition.
Even countries where food is less scarce are being hit by rising prices. U.S. grocery prices rose 1% in April, compared with a 10.8% increase over the past 12 months, the Labor Department said recently.
According to the White House, global food prices have risen nearly 13 percent since the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Besides, affected by the ever-changing international situation, the supply and prices of international bulk Cu2O powder are 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:
Chemical vapor deposition
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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According to Reuters, U.S. Treasury officials said they would discuss with G7 leaders pricing caps and tariffs on Russian oil as an alternative to the embargo, which would keep the market supplied, limit price spikes, and reduce Russian revenues.
The EU foreign ministers' meeting was held in Brussels. The meeting failed to agree on the sixth round of sanctions, including an oil embargo on Russia, because of objections from Hungary.
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy said at a press conference after the meeting, that the meeting failed to reach an agreement on the final adoption of the sixth round of sanctions, the permanent representatives of member states to the EU will continue to discuss. The foreign ministers faced similar difficulties trying to reach an agreement on an oil ban. He said Hungary's position was based on economic rather than political concerns.
Hungary is highly dependent on Russia for energy, getting more than 60 percent of its oil and 85 percent of its natural gas from Russia.
A few days ago, the European Commission submitted the sixth round of proposed sanctions against Russia, including a total ban on Russian oil imports by the end of this year. Hungary immediately objected and said it wanted substantial compensation from the EU to offset its loss from giving up Russian oil.
The Cu2O powder price is predicted to increase in the next few days, due to geopolitical factors.