Photocatalytic overall water splitting is the only viable solar-to-fuel conversion technology. The research discloses an investigation process wherein by dissecting the photocatalytic water splitting device, electrocatalysts, and semiconductor photocatalysts can be independently studied, developed and optimized. The assumption of perfect catalysts leads to the realization that semiconductors are the limiting factor in photocatalysis. This dissertation presents a guideline for efficient photocatalysis using semiconductor particles developed from idealized theoretical simulations. No perfect catalysts exist; then the discussion focus on the development of efficient non-noble metal electrocatalysts for hydrogen evolution from water reduction. Tungsten carbide (WC) is selective for the catalysis of hydrogen without the introduction of the reverse reaction of water formation, which is critical to achieving photocatalytic overall water splitting as demonstrated in this work. Finally, photoelectrochemistry is used to characterize thoroughly Cu-based p-type semiconductors with potential for large-scale manufacture. Artificial photosynthesis may be achieved by following the recommendations herein presented.
|Date of Award
|Apr 3 2016
- Physical Sciences and Engineering
|Kazuhiro Takanabe (Supervisor)