Semiconductor-based photocatalysts for photocatalytic and photoelectrochemical water splitting: will we stop with photocorrosion?
The status of photocatalytic (PC)/photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting as a promising approach to solar-to-chemical energy conversion has increased significantly over the past several decades for addressing the energy shortage. However, the overall energy conversion efficiency is still relatively poor due to the severe photocorrosion in photosensitive semiconductors. Herein, the review begins with the discussion of the photocorrosion mechanism with several typical semiconductors as examples. Then the feasible characterization methods used to evaluate the stability of semiconductors are summarized. Notably, most studies regarding water splitting focus on achieving high efficiency by improving the charge separation and transfer efficiency within the semiconductors. This review focuses on the recent advances in effective strategies for photocorrosion inhibition of semiconductor-based composites with respect to their intrinsic properties and interface charge transfer kinetics, including morphology/size control, heteroatom doping, heterojunction construction, surface modification, and reaction environment regulation. Furthermore, an in-depth investigation of photocorrosion pathways and mechanisms is critical to accurately and effectively address the photocorrosion of semiconductor-based composites to improve PC/PEC water splitting performance in the future.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Journal of Materials Chemistry A Recent Review Articles