Solar-to-Chemical Energy Conversion with Photoelectrochemical Tandem Cells
Efficiently and inexpensively converting solar energy into chemical fuels is an important goal towards a sustainable energy economy. An integrated tandem cell approach could reasonably convert over 20% of the sun's energy directly into chemical fuels like H-2 via water splitting. Many different systems have been investigated using various combinations of photovoltaic cells and photoelectrodes, but in order to be economically competitive with the production of H-2 from fossil fuels, a practical water splitting tandem cell must optimize cost, longevity and performance. In this short review, the practical aspects of solar fuel production are considered from the perspective of a semiconductor-based tandem cell and the latest advances with a very promising technology metal oxide photoelectrochemical tandem - cells are presented.