Transferring Knowledge of Electrocatalysis to Photocatalysis: Photocatalytic Water Splitting

One of the most attractive features of photocatalytic reactions is the ability to achieve energetically uphill (photosynthetic) reactions. In many photocatalytic reactions, the reactions involve multielectron transfers with the adsorbed intermediates. In this case, photocatalysis is nothing but electrocatalysis initiated and driven by the electron potential shift caused by the photocatalyst (photon absorber). This condition is indeed true for photocatalysts for water splitting, which are also electrocatalysts because both the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and oxygen evolution reaction (OER) require multiple electron transfers at the active surfaces. This chapter deals with the product-side in the six-gear concept. It shows the electrocatalytic performance when using an electrocatalyst on the surface. The chapter further shows the current-potential curve for an electrocatalytic process isolated from the photocatalyst process. For an electrocatalyst to achieve electrochemical reactions, the potential of the catalyst must be shifted at the interface of the semiconductor, providing electromotive force or overpotential for redox reactions.

Takanabe K (2017) Transferring Knowledge of Electrocatalysis to Photocatalysis: Photocatalytic Water Splitting. Nanotechnology in Catalysis: 891–906. Available:


Nanotechnology in Catalysis


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