Nanostructured semiconductor oxides thin film applied for artificial photosynthesis: The role of the nanostructure in the electronic and photoelectrochemical properties.

Reference Presenter Authors
06-196 Edson Roberto Leite Leite, E.R.(Centro Nacional de Pesquisa em Energia e Materiais); Energy from the sun can provide sufficient power for all of our energy needs and a potentially efficient route to storing this energy is to convert sunlight into chemical energy in the form of chemical bonds, which is a form of an artificial photosynthesis process. Considering the abundance of H2O on the planet, water splitting is a natural pathway for artificial photosynthesis. Based on Fujishima and Honda’s pioneer work (the authors showed that it is possible to induce the water-splitting by light, using TiO2 semiconductor as photoanode), worldwide research has focused on the conversion of sunlight into hydrogen as a clean and renewable energy source. As in conventional water electrolysis, the O2 evolution occurs at the anode, and the H2 evolution occurs at the cathode, and an aqueous electrolyte completes the current loop. One or both of the electrodes can be a photoactive semiconductor, in which a space-charge (depletion) layer is formed at the semiconductor/liquid junction (SCLJ). Under light irradiation a par of electron-hole is generated. The photo-generated carriers are separated by the space-charge field and the minority carriers (holes for an n-type photoanode) travel to the SCLJ to perform one half of the water splitting reaction. The main focus of this work is to describe and discusses the influence of the nanostructure control in the photoelectrochemistry performance of ?-Fe2O3. In special, how to avoid the electron-hole recombination and the influence of the grain boundary in this process. We intend to address a critical discussion about the impact of the nanostructure control in the semiconductors oxides photoanode performance for water oxidation.
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