Special Issue "Heterojunction-Based Photocatalysts and Photoelectrodes for Water Splitting and CO2 Reduction: From Fundamentals to Applications"

A special issue of Catalysts (ISSN 2073-4344). This special issue belongs to the section "Catalytic Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Marco Altomare
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, WW4-LKO, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Martensstrasse 7, 91058 Erlangen (Germany)
Interests: photocatalysis; photoelectrochemistry; hydrogen generation; self-organizing electrochemistry; electrochemical anodization; TiO2 nanotubes; one-dimensional nanostructures; metal oxide semiconductors; solid state dewetting; metal nanoparticles
Dr. Roland Marschall
Website
Co-Guest Editor
Institute of Physical Chemistry, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Germany
Interests: Materials science, mesoporous materials, photocatalysis, water splitting, proton conduction
Prof. Hicham Idriss

Co-Guest Editor
Research Fellow, SABIC Corporate Research and Development (CRD) at KAUST, Saudi Arabia;
Department of Chemistry University College London, UK
Interests: catalysis; surface science; metal oxides; photo-catalysis; electron transfer; reaction mechanism

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Photocatalytic and photoelectrochemical processes have been intensively studied for almost 50 years, and the scientific interest in these areas is still growing. The main reason is the great potential to enable, ideally under solar illumination, a variety of reactions of environmental relevance in the current energy scenario, such as the generation of H2 by water splitting and the reduction of greenhouse gas CO2 to hydrocarbons. Key elements towards high reaction yields are efficient separation and swift transfer of photo-generated charge carriers to reactants. For this, numerous materials have been explored, often in the form of nanostructured semiconductor and metal composites.

The aim of this Special Issue is to highlight current research on heterojunction-based photocatalysts and photoelectrodes for H2 generation and CO2 reduction, with focus on issues that still drastically hamper their performance. In this context, significant advancement lies in further understanding of aspects related to surface structural requirements and their relationship to bulk properties. The electronic properties of, e.g., semiconductor/semiconductor or metal/semiconductor interfaces, the role of metal and metal oxides clusters in charge transfer or, at a more fundamental level, the engineering of orbital overlap between reactants and the semiconductor surfaces, and the associated charge lifetime and charge transfer reaction kinetics are deemed essential to improve photocatalytic and photoelectrochemical efficiencies.

In addition, the development of advanced nanostructuring tools that enable precise morphological control over heterojunction formation is also of crucial importance to maximize light harvesting, for instance by the design of photonic band gap and plasmonic materials, and metamaterials. Additionally, site-specific cocatalyst placement at the semiconductor surface and surface-structure electronic effects on charge transfer (such as changes in work function and electric field) are important parameters requiring further attention.

These are some of the key concepts and topics within the scope of this Special Issue, which is open to original research articles, and also to reviews that target a critical viewpoint in the field.

Dr. Marco Altomare

Dr. Hicham Idriss

Dr. Roland Marschall
Guest Editors

 

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • photocatalysis
  • photoelectrochemistry
  • water splitting
  • H2 generation
  • CO2 reduction
  • hydrocarbon synthesis
  • semiconductor
  • cocatalyst
  • heterojunction
  • metal cluster
  • metal oxide
  • work function
  • electric field effect
  • plasmonic material
  • photonic band gap
  • charge transfer
  • transient absorption spectroscopy

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Crystal-Plane Dependence of Nb-Doped Rutile TiO2 Single Crystals on Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting
Catalysts 2019, 9(9), 725; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal9090725 - 28 Aug 2019
Abstract
The crystal-plane dependence of the photoelectrochemical (PEC) water-splitting property of rutile-structured Nb-doped TiO2 (TiO2:Nb) single-crystal substrates was investigated. Among the crystal planes, the (001) plane was a very promising surface for attaining good photocurrent. Under 1 sun illumination at 1.5 [...] Read more.
The crystal-plane dependence of the photoelectrochemical (PEC) water-splitting property of rutile-structured Nb-doped TiO2 (TiO2:Nb) single-crystal substrates was investigated. Among the crystal planes, the (001) plane was a very promising surface for attaining good photocurrent. Under 1 sun illumination at 1.5 V vs. a reversible hydrogen electrode, the TiO2:Nb(001) single-crystal substrate showed the highest photocurrent (0.47 mA/cm2) among the investigated substrates. The doped Nb ions were segregated inward from the top surface, and the TiO2 ultrathin layer was formed at the surface of the crystal, resulting in the formation of a heterointerface between the TiO2 and the TiO2:Nb. The enhancement of the PEC properties of the TiO2:Nb(001) single-crystal substrate originated from favorable atomic configurations for water molecule absorption and facilitation of transport of photoexcited electron–hole pairs in the depletion layer formed around the heterointerface of TiO2 thin layers on the base crystal. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Structure and Photocatalytic Activity of PdCrOx Cocatalyst on SrTiO3 for Overall Water Splitting
Catalysts 2019, 9(1), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal9010059 - 08 Jan 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
The mechanism of PdCrOx multi-component cocatalyst formation on SrTiO3 was investigated using transmission electron microscopy, X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The PdCrOx/SrTiO3 samples were synthesized by a photodeposition method under UV light irradiation ( [...] Read more.
The mechanism of PdCrOx multi-component cocatalyst formation on SrTiO3 was investigated using transmission electron microscopy, X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The PdCrOx/SrTiO3 samples were synthesized by a photodeposition method under UV light irradiation (λ > 300 nm) for various time periods (0–5 h). The fine structure and valence state of the Pd species of PdCrOx nanoparticles were varied from Pd oxide to a mixture of metallic Pd and oxidized Pd species with an increase in the irradiation time. The overall water-splitting activity of PdCrOx was strongly dependent on the photoirradiation time during deposition. Although longer photoirradiation time during preparation did not influence the H2 evolution activity of PdCrOx/SrTiO3 from aqueous methanol solution, it was effective in suppressing the O2 photoreduction activity, which is one of the backward reactions during overall water splitting. Full article
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