Water splitting for solar energy conversion

Written by: Leonard Parker | Solar News | 31st March

In order to enable large-scale hydrogen production using solar energy, particulate photocatalysts are being researched as a simple and cost-effective solution to splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen. It is necessary to develop a photocatalyst that can efficiently use visible light, which accounts for a large part of solar energy, in the water decomposition reaction.

Barium tantalum oxynitride (BaTaO2N) is an oxynitride semiconductor material that absorbs visible light up to 650 nm and has a band structure capable of decomposing water into hydrogen and oxygen. Until very recently, it had not been possible to load BaTaO2N granules with co-catalyst fine particles, which are reaction active sites, with good adhesion and high dispersion.

In this study led by the Research Initiative for Supra-Materials of Shinshu University, the co-catalyst fine particles were found to be highly dispersed on the surface of the single crystal fine particles of BaTaO2N synthesized by the flux method when the impregnation-reduction method and the photodeposition method were sequentially applied.

As a result, the efficiency of the hydrogenation reaction using the BaTaO2N photocatalyst has been improved to nearly 100 times that of the conventional one, and the efficiency of the two-step excitation type (Z scheme type) water decomposition reaction in combination with the oxygen generation photocatalyst has also been improved.

Transient absorption spectroscopy reveals that the Pt-assisted catalyst microparticles supported by the new method are less likely to induce recombination of electrons and holes because they efficiently extract electrons from the BaTaO2N photocatalyst .

By supporting a small amount of Pt co-catalyst by the impregnation-reduction method in advance, the reduction reaction on the photocatalyst is promoted without agglutination of Pt fine particles. As a result, Pt cocatalyst fine particles are evenly supported by photodeposition on BaTaO2N particles. As a result, it is considered that the extraction of electricity by Pt co-catalyst fine granules proceeded efficiently.

It was also confirmed that the use of BaTaO2N, which is synthesized using an appropriate flux and has a low density of defects, is also important for supporting a highly dispersed Pt co-catalyst.

This study dramatically improved the activity of the BaTaO2N photocatalyst and clarified its mechanism. The results of this research are expected to lead to the development of long-wavelength-responsive photocatalysts that drive the water decomposition reaction with high efficiency.

Research Report: "Sequential cocatalyst decoration on BaTaO2N towards highly-active Z-scheme water splitting"

Related Links
Shinshu University
All About Solar Energy at SolarDaily.com

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly paypal only

Unusual magnetic transition in perovskite oxide can help boost spintronics
Tokyo, Japan (SPX) Mar 30, 2021
Transition metal perovskites oxides exhibit several desirable properties, including high-temperature superconductivity and electrocatalysis. Now, scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology explore the structure and properties of a perovskite oxide, PbFeO3, in anticipation of the unusual charge distribution and exotic magnetic transitions displayed by such systems. They report two of the magnetic transitions, with a distinctive transition above room temperature and look into its causes, opening doors to ... read more

Source: https://www.solardaily.com/reports/Water_splitting_for_solar_energy_conversion_999.html