Will solar-driven water-splitting devices see the light of day?

James R. McKone, Nathan S. Lewis, Harry B. Gray

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

518 Citations (Scopus)


Through decades of sustained effort, researchers have made substantial progress on developing technologies for solar-driven water splitting. Nevertheless, more basic research is needed before prototype devices with a chance for commercial success can be demonstrated. In this Perspective, we summarize the major design constraints that motivate continued research in the field of solar-driven water splitting. Additionally, we discuss key device components that are now available for use in demonstration systems and prototypes. Finally, we highlight research areas where breakthroughs will be critical for continued progress toward commercial viability for solar-driven water-splitting devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-414
Number of pages8
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 14 2014


  • HER
  • OER
  • electrocatalysis
  • hydrogen evolution
  • ion-exchange membrane
  • oxygen evolution
  • photoelectrochemistry
  • semiconductor
  • solar fuels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Chemistry

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