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Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting

A promising and environmental-friendly way of producing hydrogen is water photolysis, where solar energy generates electron-hole pairs in a photocatalytic material which, in turn, reduce water into hydrogen (and oxidize it into oxygen). The most commonly used photocatalytic material is TiO2 because of its chemical stability and high catalytic activity. However, its rather large optical band-gap (~3.0 eV) hinders absorption of photons in the visible range of the sunlight. An attractive candidate that can replace TiO2 is Cu2ZnSn(Se,S)4 (CZTS), which is an earth-abundant semiconductor compound. We’re working on the synthesis of CZTS and testing the suitability of it as a photo-cathode where hydrogen evolution occurs.