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Recent Advances and Emerging Trends in Photo-Electrochemical Solar Energy Conversion


Tilley, S David (2019). Recent Advances and Emerging Trends in Photo-Electrochemical Solar Energy Conversion. Advanced Energy Materials, 9(2):1802877.

Abstract

Photo‐electrochemical (PEC) solar energy conversion offers the promise of low‐cost renewable fuel generation from abundant sunlight and water. In this Review, recent developments in photo‐electrochemical water splitting are discussed with respect to this promise. State‐of‐the‐art photo‐electrochemical device performance is put in context with the current understanding of the necessary requirements for cost‐effective solar hydrogen generation (in terms of solar‐to‐hydrogen conversion efficiency and system durability, in particular). Several important studies of photo‐electrochemical hydrogen generation at p‐type photocathodes are highlighted, mostly with protection layers (for enhanced durability), but also a few recent examples where protective layers are not needed. Recent work with the widely studied n‐type BiVO4 photoanode is detailed, which highlights the needs and necessities for the next big photoanode material yet to be discovered. The emerging new research direction of photo‐electrocatalytic upgrading of biomass substrates toward value‐added chemicals is then discussed, before closing with a commentary on how research on PEC materials remains a worthwhile endeavor.

Abstract

Photo‐electrochemical (PEC) solar energy conversion offers the promise of low‐cost renewable fuel generation from abundant sunlight and water. In this Review, recent developments in photo‐electrochemical water splitting are discussed with respect to this promise. State‐of‐the‐art photo‐electrochemical device performance is put in context with the current understanding of the necessary requirements for cost‐effective solar hydrogen generation (in terms of solar‐to‐hydrogen conversion efficiency and system durability, in particular). Several important studies of photo‐electrochemical hydrogen generation at p‐type photocathodes are highlighted, mostly with protection layers (for enhanced durability), but also a few recent examples where protective layers are not needed. Recent work with the widely studied n‐type BiVO4 photoanode is detailed, which highlights the needs and necessities for the next big photoanode material yet to be discovered. The emerging new research direction of photo‐electrocatalytic upgrading of biomass substrates toward value‐added chemicals is then discussed, before closing with a commentary on how research on PEC materials remains a worthwhile endeavor.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Chemistry
08 Research Priority Programs > Solar Light to Chemical Energy Conversion
Dewey Decimal Classification:540 Chemistry
Uncontrolled Keywords:Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment, General Materials Science
Language:English
Date:1 January 2019
Deposited On:15 Mar 2019 09:00
Last Modified:15 Mar 2019 09:00
Publisher:Wiley-VCH Verlag
ISSN:1614-6832
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/aenm.201802877
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant IDPYAPP2_160586
  • : Project TitleSolar Water Splitting: Photovoltage, Surface Dipole, and Catalysis Strategies

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