Light-Driven Heterogeneous Reduction of Carbon Dioxide: Photocatalysts and Photoelectrodes

James L. White, Maor F. Baruch, James E. Pander, Yuan Hu, Ivy C. Fortmeyer, James Eujin Park, Tao Zhang, Kuo Liao, Jing Gu, Yong Yan, Travis W. Shaw, Esta Abelev, Andrew Bruce Bocarsly

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

757 Scopus citations


A wide variety of semiconductor systems have proven capable of harnessing near-ultraviolet and visible light and using that energy to drive the reduction of carbon dioxide through photocatalysis or photoelectrochemistry. While p-type semiconductors serve as photocathodes, it is possible to perform CO2 reduction with n-type semiconductors as dark cathodes. Conversely, p-type semiconductors can be used as dark anodes. Unlike particles, in which the majority charge carrier is transferred to the opposite interface on the particle to perform the other half-cell reaction, photoelectrochemical cells require the semiconductor electrodes to be connected to an auxiliary electrode via an external circuit. Semiconductors modified with molecular catalysts take advantage of the selectivity and tunability of molecular catalyst systems as well as the advantages of heterogeneous catalysts including utilization of lower amounts of expensive catalysts, high concentrations of the catalysts at the reaction site, and easy separation of the catalyst from the reaction mixture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12888-12935
Number of pages48
JournalChemical Reviews
Issue number23
StatePublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)

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