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Issue 9, 2010
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Composite photoanodes for photoelectrochemical solar water splitting

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Photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting is an attractive approach to capturing and storing the earth's abundant solar energy influx. The challenging four-electron water-oxidation half-cell reaction has hindered this technology, giving rise to slow water oxidation kinetics at the photoanode surfaces relative to competitive loss processes. In this perspective, we review recent efforts to improve PEC efficiencies by modification of semiconductor photoanode surfaces with water-oxidation catalysts that can operate at low overpotentials. This approach allows separation of the tasks of photon absorption, charge separation, and surface catalysis, allowing each to be optimized independently. In particular, composite photoanodes marrying nanocrystalline and molecular/non-crystalline components provide flexibility in adjusting the properties of each component, but raise new challenges in interfacial chemistries.

Graphical abstract: Composite photoanodes for photoelectrochemical solar water splitting

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Publication details

The article was received on 13 Apr 2010, accepted on 06 Jul 2010 and first published on 06 Aug 2010

Article type: Perspective
DOI: 10.1039/C0EE00030B
Citation: Energy Environ. Sci., 2010,3, 1252-1261
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    Composite photoanodes for photoelectrochemical solar water splitting

    J. Sun, D. K. Zhong and D. R. Gamelin, Energy Environ. Sci., 2010, 3, 1252
    DOI: 10.1039/C0EE00030B

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