Progress and problems in visible light water splitting

Yixin Zhao, Emil A. Hernandez-Pagan, Nella M. Vargas-Barbosa, Seung Hyun Anna Lee, W. Justin Youngblood, Eugene S. Smotkin, Thomas E. Mallouk, Ana Moore, Thomas Moore, Devens Gust

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Visible light water splitting in dye sensitized solar cells has now been reported by several groups who have used transition metal oxides or dyes coupled to catalyst clusters as photosensitizers. In these cells and in semiconductor-based photoelectrochemical cells, there are system-level issues that must be considered in the context of water electrolysis. These include the need for membranes that conduct protons at the pH where the electrocatalysts operate and where the other components of the system are stable, as well as the problem of fuel crossover and catalytic oxidation. We will report the effects of some of these parameters in membrane-based cells containing phosphate and borate electrolytes. In the water-splitting dye cell, the quantum efficiency is sensitive to the presence of buffers because protons generated at the photoanode lower the driving force for water oxidation and thus complicate the electron transfer kinetics. New strategies for controlling the relative rates of forward and back electron transfer in these cells will be described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationACS National Meeting Book of Abstracts
StatePublished - 2011
Event242nd ACS National Meeting and Exposition - Denver, CO, United States
Duration: Aug 28 2011Sep 1 2011


Other242nd ACS National Meeting and Exposition
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityDenver, CO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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