Hierarchical nanostructures of metal oxides for enhancing charge separation and transport in photoelectrochemical solar energy conversion systems
Photoelectrochemical solar energy conversion systems, including photoelectrochemical water splitting and photoelectrochemical solar cells (dye-sensitized solar cells, DSSCs), are under intensive development aiming at efficiently harvesting and utilizing solar energy. Metal oxides carved into hierarchical nanostructures are thought to be promising for improving photoelectrochemical performance by enhancing charge separation and transport. Herein, we review the recent progress in the research on the design and applications of metal oxide hierarchical nanostructures in water splitting and DSSC systems with a view to understanding how they improve the device performance in terms of enhanced charge separation and transport properties. This review will end with a conclusion on metal oxide hierarchical nanostructures together with potential future research directions thereof.