Recent progress on photocatalytic and photoelectrochemical water splitting under visible light irradiation

Ryu Abe

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

1012 Citations (Scopus)


Photocatalytic and photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting using semiconductor materials has attracted considerable interest due to its potential to cleanly produce H2 from water by utilizing abundant solar light. Since Fujishima and Honda used a TiO2 photoanode in 1972 to split water, researchers have been attempting to develop water-splitting systems that can efficiently use visible light (which accounts for almost half of the solar spectrum on the Earth's surface) in order to realize efficient conversion of solar light. In this report, we review recent progress in this field by focusing on strategies that utilize visible light. Such strategies include two-step photoexcitation systems that were inspired by photosynthesis in nature, band engineering for producing novel photocatalysts that have both a high visible light absorption and suitable energy levels for water splitting, the development of new cocatalysts for efficient H2 or O2 production, fabrication of efficient photoelectrodes based on visible-light-responsive semiconductors, and the construction of tandem-type PEC water-splitting systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-209
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Photochemistry and Photobiology C: Photochemistry Reviews
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Artificial photosynthesis
  • Hydrogen
  • Photocatalyst
  • Photoelectrode
  • Solar energy
  • Visible light
  • Water splitting

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