3 years ago

Metal-Free Motifs for Solar Fuel Applications.

Kadel, Ilic, Glusac, Huang, Zoric
Metal-free motifs, such as graphitic carbon nitride, conjugated polymers, and doped nanostructures, are emerging as a new class of Earth-abundant materials for solar fuel devices. Although these metal-free structures show great potential, detailed mechanistic understanding of their performance remains limited. Here, we review important experimental and theoretical findings relevant to the role of metal-free motifs as either photoelectrodes or electrocatalysts. First, the light-harvesting characteristics of metal-free photoelectrodes (band energetics, exciton binding energies, charge carrier mobilities and lifetimes) are discussed and contrasted with those in traditional inorganic semiconductors (such as Si). Second, the mechanistic insights into the electrocatalytic oxygen reduction and evolution reactions, hydrogen evolution reaction, and carbon dioxide reduction reaction by metal-free motifs are summarized, including experimental surface-sensitive spectroscopy findings, studies on small molecular models, and computational modeling of these chemical transformations.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-physchem-052516-050924

DOI: 10.1146/annurev-physchem-052516-050924

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