For instance, a solar cell generates electricity from the absorption and conversion of sunlight, while the storage of the produced electricity has to be implemented with another set of energy utilization solutions such as batteries/supercapacitors and fuel cells.
Photoelectrochemical (PEC) conversion based on semiconductor materials is a highly important and promising approach for utilizing solar energy with minimal carbon emissions. Today, it is one of the most sustainable methods of producing hydrogen – when sun hits the PEC cell, the solar energy is absorbed and used for splitting water molecules into its components, hydrogen and oxygen.
One of the largest challenges facing PEC water splitting technologies – and other solar conversion techniques as well – is the selection and design of semiconductor photoelectrode materials/structures, due to multiple stringent requirements including photoelectrochemical stable, appropriate band gap size and band edge position, fast charge transfer and low recombination rates, and efficient hydrogen/oxygen evolution.
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