Metal oxide materials for photoelectrochemical water splitting
Manuel J. Rodríguez Pérez a, Geonel Rodríguez Gattorno a, Gerko Oskam a, Bruce A. Parkinson b
a Department of Applied Physics, CINVESTAV-IPN, Ant. Carr. a Progreso km 6, Cordemex, Mérida, Yucatán, 97310, Mexico
b Department of Chemistry and School of Energy Resources, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82071
Oral, Gerko Oskam, presentation 018
Publication date: 31st March 2013

The search is on for stable, inexpensive materials that can efficiently split water under solar illumination, and metal oxides may be the most promising candidates. The materials properties strongly affect every aspect of the photoelectrochemical processes involved, and taking binary, ternary and quaternary metal oxides into account, a large number of potential candidates exist. In addition, candidate materials need to be synthesized using a repeatable and robust process, in order to ensure reproducible results.

In this contribution, we will present two approaches: (i) search for novel materials using a combinatorial approach, and (ii) study of the influence of crystal structure of one metal oxide on its photoelectrochemistry. In the first part, we will illustrate the combinatorial method for the Cu-Bi-Mn oxide system.  Two potentially promising materials were identified, which have been evaluated for their photoelectrochemical properties.  In the second part, we illustrate the controlled, solution-phase synthesis and characterization of WO3 materials, and we present results on the photoelectrochemistry of these materials as a function of crystal structure.

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