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A composite semiconductor photoanode for water electrolysis


Photoelectrolysis of water by means of semiconductor photo-electrochemical cells has attracted much attention from the point of view of solar energy conversion1–5. Metal oxides such as TiO2, WO3, or Fe2O3 act as stable photoanodes, but they need an external bias for the photodecomposition of water to compensate for their too low surface band energies. We report here that water can be photodecomposed effectively without external bias by using a semiconductor/redox electrolyte/semiconductor junction (SES) as the photoanode.

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Nakato, Y., Takamori, N. & Tsubomura, H. A composite semiconductor photoanode for water electrolysis. Nature 295, 312–313 (1982).

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