Aug 15, 2014

Achieving solar overall water splitting with hybrid photosystems of photosystem II and artificial photocatalysts

Nature Communications
Wangyin WangWenming Tian


Solar overall water splitting is a promising sustainable approach for solar-to-chemical energy conversion, which harnesses solar irradiation to oxidize water to oxygen and reduce the protons to hydrogen. The water oxidation step is vital but difficult to achieve through inorganic photocatalysis. However, nature offers an efficient light-driven water-oxidizing enzyme, photosystem II (PSII). Here we report an overall water splitting natural-artificial hybrid system, in which the plant PSII and inorganic photocatalysts (for example, Ru/SrTiO3:Rh), coupled with an inorganic electron shuttle [Fe(CN)6(3-)/Fe(CN)6(4-)], are integrated and dispersed in aqueous solutions. The activity of this hybrid photosystem reaches to around 2,489 mol H2 (mol PSII)(-1) h(-1) under visible light irradiation, and solar overall water splitting is also achieved under solar irradiation outdoors. The optical imaging shows that the hybrid photosystems are constructed through the self-assembly of PSII adhered onto the inorganic photocatalyst surface. Our work may provide a prototype of natural-artificial hybrids for developing autonomous solar water splitting system.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Fast Electrons
Solar Energy
Optical Imaging
Dark Reactions of Photosynthesis
Water-Splitting Enzyme of Photosynthesis
Photosystem II

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