Chinese Journal of Catalysis ›› 2020, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (4): 642-671.DOI: 10.1016/S1872-2067(19)63469-8

• Review • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The roles and mechanism of cocatalysts in photocatalytic water splitting to produce hydrogen

Nan Xiaoa,b, Songsong Lib, Xuli Lib, Lei Gea,b, Yangqin Gaob, Ning Lib   

  1. a State Key Laboratory of Heavy Oil Processing, College of New Energy and Materials, China University of Petroleum Beijing, Beijing 102249, China;
    b Department of Materials Science and Engineering, College of New Energy and Materials, China University of Petroleum Beijing, Beijing 102249, China
  • Received:2019-09-26 Revised:2019-10-17 Online:2020-04-18 Published:2019-12-12
  • Supported by:
    This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51572295, 21273285 and 21003157), Beijing Nova Program (2008B76), and Science Foundation of China University of Petroleum, Beijing (KYJJ2012-06-20 and 2462016YXBS05).

Abstract: Photocatalytic hydrogen (H2) evolution via water spilling over semiconductors has been considered to be one of the most promising strategies for sustainable energy supply in the future to provide non-pollution and renewable energy. The key to efficient conversion of solar-chemical energy is the design of an efficient structure for high charge separation and transportation. Therefore, cocatalysts are necessary in boosting photocatalytic H2 evolution. To date, semiconductor photocatalysts have been modified by various cocatalysts due to the extended light harvest, enhanced charge carrier separation efficiency and improved stability. This review focuses on recent developments of cocatalysts in photocatalytic H2 evolution, the roles and mechanism of the cocatalysts are discussed in detail. The cocatalysts can be divided into the following categories:metal/alloy cocatalysts, metal phosphides cocatalysts, metal oxide/hydroxide cocatalysts, carbon-based cocatalysts, dual cocatalysts, Z-scheme cocatalysts and MOFs cocatalysts. The future research and forecast for photocatalytic hydrogen generation are also suggested.

Key words: Cocatalysts, Photocatalytsts, Hydrogen evolution, Charge separation, Water splitting