Role of catalysis in photoelectrochemistry

M. S. Wrighton, D. C. Bookbinder, J. A. Bruce, R. N. Dominey, Nathan S Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Illumination of a semiconductor electrode in an electrochemical cell can result in the flow of current and the generation of electrolysis products. The photoelectrolysis of H2O to H2 and 1/2 O2 represents a potentially important solar energy conversion/storage system. The cathode half-reaction (H2 evolution) and the anode half-reaction (O2 evolution) are both processes that are well-known to be kinetically sluggish at the thermodynamic potential in conventional cells. Data will be presented showing that the kinetics for these processes need to be improved for semiconductor photoelectrodes. Improvement in the H2 and O2 evolution kinetics requires the use of electron transfer catalysts. An approach to improved H2 evolution kinetics for illuminated p-type semiconductors employing redox active polymers (based on N,N′-dialkyl-4,4′-bipyridinium monomers) and catalysts dispersed in the polymer will be outlined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376
Number of pages1
JournalPreprints Symposia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fuel Technology

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