This critical review shows the basis of photocatalytic water splitting and experimental points, and surveys heterogeneous photocatalyst materials for water splitting into H2 and O2, and H2 or O2 evolution from an aqueous solution containing a sacrificial reagent. Many oxides consisting of metal cations with d0 and d10 configurations, metal (oxy)sulfide and metal (oxy)nitride photocatalysts have been reported, especially during the latest decade. The fruitful photocatalyst library gives important information on factors affecting photocatalytic performances and design of new materials. Photocatalytic water splitting and H2 evolution using abundant compounds as electron donors are expected to contribute to construction of a clean and simple system for solar hydrogen production, and a solution of global energy and environmental issues in the future (361 references).
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