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Visible-light-absorbing semiconductor/molecular catalyst hybrid photoelectrodes for H2 or O2 evolution: recent advances and challenges

Abstract

The research on conversion and storage of solar energy to an eco-friendly and momentarily available chemical fuel, such as H2, by sunlight-driven water splitting is closely related to the sustainable development of global economy and to the continuous improvement of modern living standards of human beings. One of the most promising approaches to sunlight-driven water splitting is to construct a dual-illuminated photoelectrochemical (PEC) cell by integrating a photoanode with a photocathode in a tandem configuration. To this end, the important work is to individually develop highly efficient, durable, inexpensive, and readily scalable photoanodes and photocathodes for each half reaction of water splitting, either O2 or H2 evolution reaction (OER or HER). A promising approach appearing in recent years to OER photoanodes and HER photocathodes is immobilization of molecular catalysts (MC) onto the surface of visible-light-absorbing semiconductor (VLASC) electrodes. Some encouraging results have been achieved very recently in construction of MC-modified VLASC photoanodes and photocathodes. This review will be focused on recent advances in hybrid photoelectrodes for OER and HER, which were built by integration of MCs with VLASC materials. After a brief introduction of three major units, viz. VLASC materials, MCs, and anchor groups, used to date for fabricating hybrid photoelectrodes for OER and HER, the construction strategy and the performance of the VLASC/MC photoanodes and photocathodes are described in two respective chapters. Finally, challenges and developments in future studies of VLASC/MC hybrid photoelectrodes are remarked.

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Publication details

The article was received on 26 Apr 2017, accepted on 11 Jun 2017 and first published on 12 Jun 2017


Article type: Review Article
DOI: 10.1039/C7SE00222J
Citation: Sustainable Energy Fuels, 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    Visible-light-absorbing semiconductor/molecular catalyst hybrid photoelectrodes for H2 or O2 evolution: recent advances and challenges

    M. Wang, Y. Yang, J. Shen, J. Jiang and L. Sun, Sustainable Energy Fuels, 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7SE00222J

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