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Solar water splitting

Swati Kumari, Ramona Gutkowski, Joao Junqueira, Aleksander Kostka, Katharina Hengge, Christina Scheu, Wolfgang Schuhmann, Alfred Ludwig
The search for suitable materials for solar water splitting is addressed with combinatorial material science methods. Thin film Fe-V-O materials libraries were synthesized using combinatorial reactive magnetron co-sputtering and subsequent annealing in air. The design of the libraries comprises a combination of large compositional gradients (from Fe10V90Ox to Fe79V21Ox) and thickness gradients (from 140 nm to 425 nm). These material libraries were investigated by high throughput characterization techniques in terms of composition, structure, optical and photoelectrochemical properties in order to establish correlations between composition, thickness, crystallinity, microstructure, and photocurrent density...
August 13, 2018: ACS Combinatorial Science
Beidou Guo, Liangqiu Tian, Wenjing Xie, Aisha Batool, Guancai Xie, Qin Xiang, Saad Ullah Jan, Rajender Boddula, Jian Ru Gong
Because of inefficient charge utilization caused by localized π-electron conjugation and large exciton binding energy, the photoelectrochemical water-splitting efficiency of organic polymers is seriously limited. Taking the graphitic carbon nitride (g-CN) polymer as an example, we report a novel photoanode based on a vertically aligned g-CN porous nanorod (PNR) array prepared in situ, using a thermal polycondensation approach, with anodic aluminum oxide as the template. The g-CN PNR array exhibits an excellent photocurrent density of 120...
August 13, 2018: Nano Letters
Wooseok Yang, Jooho Moon
Conversion of solar energy into hydrogen through photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting is an attractive way to store renewable energy. Despite the intriguing concept of solar hydrogen production, efficient PEC devices based on earth-abundant semiconductors should be realized in order to economically compete with conventional steam reforming process. In this mini-review, we highlight recent milestones in photocathode development for PEC water splitting, particularly in earth-abundant semiconductors, in terms of new techniques for enhancing performance as well as theoretical aspects...
August 13, 2018: ChemSusChem
Zejin Wang, Zhiliang Jin, Hong Yuan, Guorong Wang, Bingzhen Ma
Stable and efficient photocatalyst is the key important research goals up to now. On account of the dominant performance of Ni2 P, g-C3 N4 (graphitized carbonitride) and UiO-66 (Universitetet i Oslo) themselves, an orderly-designed assemble of g-C3 N4 /UiO-66/Ni2 P is successfully designed and assembled with capability of high-efficient dye-sensitized photocatalytic H2 evolution. The electron transport routes are successfully adjusted and the hydrogen evolution is greatly improved. It exhibits synergistic effect on highly efficient photocatalytic hydrogen production...
August 1, 2018: Journal of Colloid and Interface Science
Tayebeh Sharifi, Yousef Ghayeb, Tecush Mohammadi, Mohamad Mohsen Momeni
It is of great significance to develop green fuels in order to prevent the accumulation of carbon dioxide generated by the combustion of conventional fossil fuels. A potential, clean, renewable alternative fuel, which may be produced from solar energy, stored and safely transported, is hydrogen. In this work, bare CrTiO2 NTs were fabricated using an in situ anodizing process. CrTiO2 NTs were then modified with the photodeposition of noble metals (Ag and Au) at different light irradiation times (10-120 min)...
August 8, 2018: Dalton Transactions: An International Journal of Inorganic Chemistry
Yeong Jae Kim, Gil Ju Lee, Seungkyu Kim, Jung-Wook Min, Sang Yun Jeong, Young Jin Yoo, Sanghan Lee, Young Min Song
Despite the importance of gallium nitride (GaN) nanostructures for photocatalytic activity, relatively little attention has been paid to their geometrical optimization on the basis of wave optics. In this study, we present GaN truncated nanocones to provide a strategy for improving solar water splitting efficiencies, compared to the efficiency provided by the conventional geometries (i.e., flat surface, cylindrical, and cone shapes). Computational results with a finite difference time domain (FDTD) method and a rigorous coupled-wave analysis (RCWA) reveal important aspects of truncated nanocones, which effectively concentrate light in the center of the nanostructures...
August 7, 2018: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Petr Ashcheulov, Andrew Taylor, Vincent Mortet, Aleš Poruba, Florian Le Formal, Hana Krýsová, Mariana Klementová, Pavel Hubik, Jaromír Kopeček, Jan Lorincik, Jun-Ho Yum, Irena Kratochvilova, Ladislav Kavan, Kevin Sivula
Due to its high sensitivity to corrosion, the use of Si in direct photoelectrochemical water splitting systems that convert solar energy into chemical fuels has been greatly limited. Therefore, the development of low-cost materials resistant to corrosion under oxidizing conditions is an important goal towards a suitable protection of otherwise unstable semiconductors used in photoelectrochemical cells. Here we report on the development of a protective coating based on thin and electrically conductive nanocrystalline boron-doped diamond (BDD) layers...
August 7, 2018: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Andreas Hajduk, Mikhail V Lebedev, Bernhard Kaiser, Wolfram Jaegermann
High-resolution surface-sensitive synchrotron radiation photoelectron spectroscopy was used to study the interaction of water with the p-GaInP2(100) surface covered with submonolayer residual native oxide in order to get insight into water dissociation at the solar water-splitting photocathodes in real liquid environment. In the surface-sensitive valence band spectra features related to Ga-OH, In-OH, and H-In-OH bonds appear after emersion of the p-GaInP2(100) surface from liquid water at room temperature. Indium core levels remain intact after emersion, while the gallium core levels indicate transformation of gallium oxides to hydroxides, as well as the accumulation of metallic gallium...
August 6, 2018: Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics: PCCP
Kaustubh Basu, Hui Zhang, Haiguang Zhao, Sayantan Bhattacharya, Fabiola Navarro-Pardo, Prasanta Kumar Datta, Lei Jin, Shuhui Sun, Fiorenzo Vetrone, Federico Rosei
Photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting implementing colloidal quantum dots (QDs) as sensitizers is a promising approach for hydrogen (H2) generation, due to the QD's size-tunable optical properties. However, the challenge of long-term stability of the QDs is still unresolved. Here, we introduce a highly stable QD-based PEC device for H2 generation using a photoanode based on a SnO2-TiO2 heterostructure, sensitized by CdSe/CdS core/thick-shell "giant" QDs. This hybrid photoanode architecture leads to an appreciable saturated photocurrent density of ∼4...
August 1, 2018: Nanoscale
Zongkai Wu, Ghunbong Cheung, Jiarui Wang, Zeqiong Zhao, Frank E Osterloh
The understanding of the photochemical charge transfer properties of powdered semiconductors is of relevance to artificial photosynthesis and the production of solar fuels. Here we use surface photovoltage spectroscopy to probe photoelectrochemical charge transfer between bismuth vanadate (BiVO4) and cuprous oxide (Cu2O) particles as a function of wavelength and film thickness. Optimized conditions produce a -2.10 V photovoltage under 2.5 eV (0.1 mW cm-2) illumination, which suggests the possibility of a water splitting system based on a BiVO4-Cu2O direct contact particle tandem...
August 9, 2018: Chemical Communications: Chem Comm
Elias Doukas, Paraskevi Balta, Dimitrios Raptis, George Avgouropoulos, Panagiotis Lianos
The production of hydrogen by water splitting has been a very attractive idea for several decades. However, the energy consumption that is necessary for water oxidation is too high for practical applications. On the contrary, the oxidation of organics is a much easier and less energy-demanding process. In addition, it may be used to consume organic wastes with a double environmental benefit: renewable energy production with environmental remediation. The oxidation of organics in a photoelectrochemical cell, which in that case is also referenced as a photocatalytic fuel cell, has the additional advantage of providing an alternative route for solar energy conversion...
July 24, 2018: Materials
Aimin Wei, Xinkai Xie, Zhen Wen, Hechuang Zheng, Huiwen Lan, Huiyun Shao, Xuhui Sun, Jun Zhong, Shuit-Tong Lee
Hematite is one of the most promising photoanodes for photoelectrochemical (PEC) solar water splitting. However, due to the low conduction band position for water reduction, an external bias is necessarily required with the consumption of extra power. In this work, a titanium modified hematite (Ti-Fe2 O3 ) photoanode-based self-powered PEC water splitting system in tandem with a rotatory disc-shaped triboelectric nanogenerator (RD-TENG) has been developed. It is a fantastic strategy to effectively drive the hematite-based PEC water splitting by using the environmental mechanical energy through a TENG...
July 25, 2018: ACS Nano
Lei Wang, Ying Zhang, Liang Chen, Hangxun Xu, Yujie Xiong
Converting solar energy into storable and transportable chemical fuels using artificial photosynthetic systems can provide an alternative route to the current unsustainable use of fossil fuels, addressing the worldwide energy crisis and environmental issues. Recently, semiconducting polymers have emerged as a very promising class of photocatalysts for water splitting as their electronic and structural properties can be conveniently controlled and systematically designed at a molecular level. Among the various polymer photocatalysts that are reported so far, 2D polymer nanosheets are particularly interesting and gaining more attention...
July 22, 2018: Advanced Materials
Fanfei Sun, Siyu Tan, Hao Zhang, Zipeng Xing, Ruoou Yang, Bingbao Mei, Zheng Jiang
Uniform Pt quantum dots-decorated porous g-C3 N4 nanosheets (Pt/CN) are fabricated by a facile impregnation-ultrasonic-calcination method, using melamine as precursor. The as-prepared samples are evidently investigated by X-ray diffraction, UV-vis diffuse reflection spectra, N2 adsorption, transmission electron microscope, surface photovoltage spectroscopy and photoluminescence. The deposited Pt quantum dots with particle size of ∼5 nm are decorated on the surface of porous g-C3 N4 nanosheets uniformly...
July 17, 2018: Journal of Colloid and Interface Science
Johannes G Vos, Tim A Wezendonk, Adriaan W Jeremiasse, Marc T M Koper
The oxygen evolution reaction (OER) and chlorine evolution reaction (CER) are electrochemical processes with high relevance to water splitting for (solar) energy conversion and industrial production of commodity chemicals, respectively. Carrying out the two reactions separately is challenging, since the catalytic intermediates are linked by scaling relations. Optimizing the efficiency of OER over CER in acidic media has proven especially difficult. In this regard, we have investigated the OER versus CER selectivity of manganese oxide (MnOx ), a known OER catalyst...
August 1, 2018: Journal of the American Chemical Society
Ainhoa Cots, Pedro Bonete, David Sebastián, Vincenzo Baglio, Antonino S Aricò, Roberto Gómez
Tandem photoelectrochemical cells, formed by two photoelectrodes with complementary light absorption, have been proposed to be a viable approach for obtaining clean hydrogen. This requires the development of new designs that allow for upscaling, which would be favored by the use of transparent polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMs) instead of conventional liquid electrolytes. This article focuses on the photoelectrochemical performance of a water-splitting tandem cell based on a phosphorus-modified α-Fe2 O3 photoanode and on an iron-modified CuO photocathode, with the employment of an alkaline PEM...
August 1, 2018: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Ayan Mukherjee, Sankalpita Chakrabarty, Neetu Kumari, Wei-Nien Su, Suddhasatwa Basu
Reduced graphene oxide (RGO)-supported bismuth ferrite (BiFeO3 ) (RGO-BFO) nanocomposite is synthesized via a two-step chemical route for photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting and photocatalytic dye degradation. The detailed structural analysis, chemical coupling, and morphology of BFO- and RGO-supported BFO are established through X-ray diffraction, Raman and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy studies. The modified band structure in RGO-BFO is obtained from the UV-vis spectroscopy study and supported by density functional theory (DFT)...
June 30, 2018: ACS Omega
Maryam Zare, Shahram Solaymani, Azizollah Shafiekhani, Slawomir Kulesza, Ştefan Ţălu, Miroslaw Bramowicz
Nowadays, increasing awareness of environment and fossil fuels protection stimulates intensive research on clean and renewable sources of energy. Production of hydrogen from water through solar-driven splitting reactions is one of the most promising approaches in the field of photoelectrochemistry (PEC). In this work we have fabricated well-aligned, highly-ordered, smooth-mouth TiO2 nanotube arrays (TNAs) in a two-step anodization process of titanium foil, which were then used as photoelectrodes for PEC water splitting...
July 18, 2018: Scientific Reports
Ainhoa Cots, Pedro Bonete, Roberto Gómez
Cupric oxide (CuO) is considered as a promising photocathode material for photo(electro)chemical water splitting because of its suitable band gap, low cost related to copper earth abundancy, and straightforward fabrication. The main challenge for the development of practical CuO-based photocathodes for solar hydrogen evolution is to enhance its stability against photocorrosion. In this work, stable and efficient CuO photocathodes have been developed by using a simple and cost-effective methodology. CuO films, composed of nanowires and prepared by chemical oxidation of electrodeposited Cu, develop relatively high photocurrents in 1 M NaOH...
August 8, 2018: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Chuanping Li, Ping Wang, Haijuan Li, Minmin Wang, Jie Zhang, Guohua Qi, Yongdong Jin
Understanding and controlling the charge transfer behavior across the interface/junction in hybrid nanostructures is essential for various plasmon-enhanced catalytic reactions. The rational design of plasmonic nanostructures offers a unique capability for eliminating the daunting complexity of the electronic effect induced by interfacial interactions and maximizing the conversion efficiency of solar energy into chemical energy by surface coupling. Herein, we tactfully construct a new type of plasmon-driven photoanode based on plasmonic metal-insulator-semiconductor (PMIS) hetero-nanostructures (Au@SiO2 NP-decorated α-Fe2 O3 nanorod array), by using Fe2 O3 nanoarrays as model semiconductor structures and Au@SiO2 NPs as photosensitizers, for optimizing the photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting performance...
August 7, 2018: Nanoscale
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