Letter | Published:

Stable photoelectrochemical cells for the splitting of water

Naturevolume 266pages610611 (1977) | Download Citation



FOLLOWING Fujishima and Honda's suggestion of water photolysis by a photoelectrochemical cell1, no stable cell has been reported (but compare refs 2, 3) capable of water decomposition without the application of either an external bias or a pH gradient. The main problems have been to find stable anodes and cathodes with sufficiently negative and positive critical photopotentials, respectively, so that they may be suitably combined in a self-driving photo cell producing hydrogen and oxygen from water. We report here that the anodes n-TiO2 and n-SrTiO3 and the cathodes p-CdTe and p-GaP can be combined to form four separate stable self-driven cells: n-TiO2p-CdTe, n-TiO2p-GaP, n-SrTiO3p-CdTe and n-SrTiO3p-GaP capable of water photoelectrolysis.

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  1. 1

    Fujishima, A. & Honda, K. Nature 238, 37–38 (1972).

  2. 2

    Mavroides, J. G., Tchernev, D. I., Kafalas, J. A. & Kolesar, D. F. Mater. Res. Bull. 10, 1023–1030 (1975).

  3. 3

    Watanabe, T., Fujishima, A. & Honda, K. Bull. chem. Soc. Jap. 49, 355–358(1976).

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  1. Osaka City University, Faculty of Engineering, Osaka, Japan

    • K. OHASHI
  2. School of Physical Sciences, Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia

    • J. MCCANN
    •  & J. O'M. BOCKRIS


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