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Issue 43, 2009

Molecular water-oxidationcatalysts for photoelectrochemical cells

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Abstract

Photoelectrochemical cells that efficiently split water into oxygen and hydrogen, “the fuel of the future”, need to combine robust water oxidation catalysts at the anode (2H2O → O2 + 4H+ + 4e) with hydrogen reduction catalysts at the cathode (2H+ + 2e→ H2). Both sets of catalysts will, ideally, operate at low overpotentials and employ light-driven or light-assisted processes. In this Perspective article, we focus on significant efforts to develop solid state materials and molecular coordination complexes as catalyst for water oxidation. We briefly review the field with emphasis on the various molecular catalysts that have been developed and then examine the activity of molecular catalysts in water oxidation following their attachment to conducting electrodes. For such molecular species to be useful in a solar water-splitting device it is preferable that they are securely and durably affixed to an electrode surface. We also consider recent developments aimed at combining the action of molecular catalysts with light absorption so that light driven water oxidation may be achieved.

Graphical abstract: Molecular water-oxidation catalysts for photoelectrochemical cells

Article information


Submitted
26 Jun 2009
Accepted
23 Jul 2009
First published
26 Aug 2009

Dalton Trans., 2009, 9374-9384
Article type
Perspective

Molecular water-oxidation catalysts for photoelectrochemical cells

R. Brimblecombe, G. C. Dismukes, G. F. Swiegers and L. Spiccia, Dalton Trans., 2009, 9374 DOI: 10.1039/B912669D

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