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Platinum group metals and their oxides in semiconductor photosensitisation

Mills, A. and Lee, S.K. (2003) Platinum group metals and their oxides in semiconductor photosensitisation. Platinum Metals Review, 47 (1). pp. 2-12. ISSN 0032-1400

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Abstract

The basic principles of semiconductor photochemistry, particularly using titania as a semiconductor photocatalyst, are discussed. When a platinum group metal or its oxide is deposited onto the surface of a sensitised semiconductor the overall efficiency of the reactions it takes part in are often improved, especially when the deposits are used as hydrogen and oxygen catalysts, respectively. Methods of depositing metal or metal oxide are examined, and a particular focus is given to a photodeposition process that uses a sacrificial electron donor. Platinum group metal and platinum group metal oxide coated semiconductor photocatalysts are prominent in heterogeneous systems that are capable of the photoreduction, oxidation and cleavage of water. There is a recent renaissance in work on water-splitting semiconductor-sensitised photosystems, but there are continued concerns over their irreproducibility, longevity and photosynthetic nature.