Insights into material design for solar fuel production
Ludmilla Steier a
a Department of Chemistry, University of Oxford, UK, Mansfield Rd, Oxford, United Kingdom
Proceedings of International Conference on Frontiers in Electrocatalytic Transformations (INTERECT)
València, Spain, 2021 November 22nd - 23rd
Organizers: Elena Mas Marzá and Ward van der Stam
Invited Speaker, Ludmilla Steier, presentation 026
Publication date: 10th November 2021

Solar energy conversion and storage in fuels and chemicals hold the potential to transform our largest CO2-emitters such as the transport and electricity sectors and the chemical industry. Key approaches currently intensively studied for the generation of solar fuels are the direct conversion via photocatalysis and an indirect approach via electrocatalysis. For the water splitting reaction it has been modelled that both pathways could in principle achieve solar-to-hydrogen efficiencies of ~30%. In practice however, photocatalytic or photoelectrochemical systems have shown efficiencies of ≤10% and more commonly around 1%. This discrepancy invites to have a closer look at the material engineering in both approaches. Hence, in my talk I will highlight our recent studies on polycrystalline thin film Cu(In,Ga)Se2 [1] commonly used in high-efficiency solar cells as well as on a promising oxide photocatalyst La,Rh:SrTiO3 used in photocatalyst sheets to produce hydrogen [2]. Both studies give interesting insights into material design strategies for novel photocatalysts.

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