Efficient photosynthesis of carbon monoxide from CO2 using perovskite photovoltaics
Artificial photosynthesis, mimicking nature in its efforts to store solar energy, has received considerable attention from the research community. Most of these attempts target the production of H-2 as a fuel and our group recently demonstrated solar-to-hydrogen conversion at 12.3% efficiency. Here, in an effort to take this approach closer to real photosynthesis, which is based on the conversion of CO2, we demonstrate the efficient reduction of CO2 to carbon monoxide driven solely by simulated sunlight using water as the electron source. Employing series-connected perovskite photovoltaics and high-performance catalyst electrodes, we reach a solar-to-CO efficiency exceeding 6.5%, which represents a new benchmark in sunlight-driven CO2 conversion. Considering hydrogen as a secondary product, an efficiency exceeding 7% is observed. Furthermore, this study represents one of the first demonstrations of extended, stable operation of perovskite photovoltaics, whose large open-circuit voltage is shown to be particularly suited for this process.