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Issue 6, 2010
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Photoelectrocatalysis: principles, nanoemitter applications and routes to bio-inspired systems

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Abstract

An overview on processes that are relevant in light-induced fuel generation, such as water photoelectrolysis or carbon dioxide reduction, is given. Considered processes encompass the photophysics of light absorption, excitation energy transfer to catalytically active sites and interfacial reactions at the catalyst/solution phase boundary. The two major routes envisaged for realization of photoelectrocatalytic systems, e.g. bio-inspired single photon catalysis and multiple photon inorganic or hybrid tandem cells, are outlined. For development of efficient tandem cell structures that are based on non-oxidic semiconductors, stabilization strategies are presented. Physical surface passivation is described using the recently introduced nanoemitter concept which is also applicable in photovoltaic (solid state or electrochemical) solar cells and first results with p-Si and p-InP thin films are presented. Solar-to-hydrogen efficiencies reach 12.1% for homoepitaxial InP thin films covered with Rh nanoislands. In the pursuit to develop biologically inspired systems, enzyme adsorption onto electrochemically nanostructured silicon surfaces is presented and tapping mode atomic force microscopy images of heterodimeric enzymes are shown. An outlook towards future envisaged systems is given.

Graphical abstract: Photoelectrocatalysis: principles, nanoemitter applications and routes to bio-inspired systems

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Publication details

The article was received on 03 Aug 2009, accepted on 18 Nov 2009 and first published on 14 Apr 2010


Article type: Perspective
DOI: 10.1039/B915922N
Citation: Energy Environ. Sci., 2010,3, 748-760
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    Photoelectrocatalysis: principles, nanoemitter applications and routes to bio-inspired systems

    H. J. Lewerenz, C. Heine, K. Skorupska, N. Szabo, T. Hannappel, T. Vo-Dinh, S. A. Campbell, H. W. Klemm and A. G. Muñoz, Energy Environ. Sci., 2010, 3, 748
    DOI: 10.1039/B915922N

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