Pure water splitting is a novel technique that utilises two oxide photocatalysts, one for proton reduction and the other for water oxidation. Additionally, shuttle molecules are required to transport electrons between the oxidation and reduction photocatalysts. At present such a complex scheme has not been sufficiently optimised to compete with more established and potentially more wasteful technologies.
Our work will focus on the development and optimisation of this Z-scheme by focusing on all aspects of the process. Water oxidation catalysts such as: BiVO4, Ag3PO4 and BiVO4 will be screened for potential activity. Water reduction photocatalysts such a carbon nitride will be developed that have band gaps tuned to adsorb photons in the visible part of the solar spectrum. Finally, screening will also be done on potential shuttle molecules, such as: Fe3+, Fe2+, IO3− and I−.