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Issue 9, 2010
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Composite photoanodes for photoelectrochemical solar water splitting

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Abstract

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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Article information


Submitted
13 Apr 2010
Accepted
06 Jul 2010
First published
06 Aug 2010

Energy Environ. Sci., 2010,3, 1252-1261
Article type
Perspective

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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