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Issue 14, 2016
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Ferroelectric oxide surface chemistry: water splitting via pyroelectricity

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Abstract

There is widespread interest in finding sustainable replacements for fossil fuels, and hence hydrogen production via water splitting has received much attention. However, finding efficient water splitting methods remains a challenge. We use first principles theory to design a catalytic cycle for water splitting that employs the pyroelectric effect in ferroelectrics. Taking PbTiO3 as an example, we show that actively controlling the ferroelectric polarization via cyclic temperature modulations can catalyze the splitting of H2O into O2 and H2. In practice, the energy needed to drive this cycle may be provided by low/intermediate grade heat. Since no precious metals are used in this catalytic cycle, this approach may lead to viable water-splitting methods that employ earth-abundant elements.

Graphical abstract: Ferroelectric oxide surface chemistry: water splitting via pyroelectricity

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
19 Jan 2016
Accepted
06 Mar 2016
First published
08 Mar 2016

J. Mater. Chem. A, 2016,4, 5235-5246
Article type
Paper

Ferroelectric oxide surface chemistry: water splitting via pyroelectricity

A. Kakekhani and S. Ismail-Beigi, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2016, 4, 5235
DOI: 10.1039/C6TA00513F

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