Z-scheme photocatalytic water splitting

BSc or MSc assignment

Z-Scheme photocatalytic water splitting - SnNb2O6 a suitable material for H2 evolution?

Currently, producing hydrogen from water is of major interest as hydrogen is considered to be suitable to replace fossil fuels. Therefore, economically viable and sustainable processes have to be developed and a variety of different approaches are considered. (Photo)electrochemical and photocatalytic water splitting appear to be promising as energy provided by the sun is directly utilized to produce hydrogen.

In photocatalytic z-scheme water splitting two semiconducting materials with different band gaps are used to 1) absorb larger fractions of the solar light spectrum and 2) to drive the proton reduction reaction (hydrogen evolution) and the oxygen evolution reaction at different particles. In this approach hydrogen and oxygen separation can be easily achieved resulting in overall lower hydrogen production costs.

Schematic illustration of the optical absorption and energetic properties of an ideal photocatalytic z-scheme system.

In this assignment SnNb2O6 materials will be prepared by solid state reaction (SSR) and the properties of the resulting material to drive the hydrogen evolution reaction will be studied using an µ-GC.