Artificial Photosynthesis with Semiconductor-Liquid Junctions
Given the urgent need to develop a sustainable, carbon neutral energy storage system on a global scale, intense efforts are currently underway to advance the field of artificial photosynthesis: i.e. solar fuel engineering. In this review we give an overview of the field of artificial photosynthesis using a semiconductor electrolyte interface employed in a photoelectrochemical device or as a heterogeneous photocatalyst. First we present a basic description of the operation principles of a semiconductor liquid junction based device. The role of nanotechnology in the recent advances in the field is highlighted and common material systems under current study are briefly reviewed. The importance of the material surfaces are further scrutinized by presenting recent advances in interfacial engineering. Technical challenges and an outlook towards industrialization of the technology are given.