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Electric Field Effects on Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting: Perspectives and Outlook


The grand challenges in renewable energy lie in our ability to comprehend efficient energy conversion systems, together with dealing with the problem of intermittency via scalable energy storage systems. Relatively little progress has been made on this at grid scale and two overriding challenges still need to be addressed: (i) limiting damage to the environment and (ii) the question of environmentally friendly energy conversion. The present review focuses on a novel route for producing hydrogen, the ultimate clean fuel, from the Sun, and renewable energy source. Hydrogen can be produced by light-driven photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting, but it is very inefficient; rather, we focus here on how electric fields can be applied to metal oxide/water systems in tailoring the interplay with their intrinsic electric fields, and in how this can alter and boost PEC activity, drawing both on experiment and non-equilibrium molecular simulation.

Funding source: This research was funded by Science Foundation Ireland grant number SFI-NSFC/17/2259 and NSFC - the bilateral Ireland–China research grant. R.L. acknowledges the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51861135101).
Related subjects: Production & Supply Chain

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