Materials for solar fuels and chemicals

J.H. Montoya, L.C. Seitz, P. Chakthranont, A. Vojvodic, T.F. Jaramillo, J.K. Nørskov
Year of publication: 
Nature Materials

The conversion of sunlight into fuels and chemicals is an attractive prospect for the storage of renewable energy, and photoelectrocatalytic technologies represent a pathway by which solar fuels might be realized. However, there are numerous scientific challenges in developing these technologies. These include finding suitable materials for the absorption of incident photons, developing more efficient catalysts for both water splitting and the production of fuels, and understanding how interfaces between catalysts, photoabsorbers and electrolytes can be designed to minimize losses and resist degradation. In this Review, we highlight recent milestones in these areas and some key scientific challenges remaining between the current state of the art and a technology that can effectively convert sunlight into fuels and chemicals.

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