Interest in the application of semiconductors toward the photocatalytic generation of solar fuels, including hydrogen from water-splitting and hydrocarbons from the reduction of carbon dioxide, remains strong due to concerns over the continued emission of greenhouse gases as well as other environmental impacts from the use of fossil fuels. While the efficiency and durability of such systems will depend heavily on the types of the semiconductors, co-catalysts, and mediators employed, the dimensionality of the semiconductors employed can also have a significant impact. Recognizing the broad nature of this field and the many recent advances in it, this review focuses on the emerging approaches from 0-dimensional (0D)to 3-dimensional (3D)semiconductor photocatalysts towards efficient solar fuels generation. We place particular emphasis on systems that are "semi-artificial", that is, hybrid systems that integrate naturally occurring enzymes or whole cells with semiconductor components that harvest light energy. The semiconductors in these systems must have suitable interfacial properties for immobilization of enzymes to be effective photocatalysts. These requirements are particularly sensitive to surface structures and morphology, making the semiconductor dimensionality a critical factor. In addition to providing an overview of advances towards designing 3D architecture in semi-artificial photosynthetic field, we also present recent advances in fabrication strategies for 3D inorganic photocatalysts.
Available for download on Friday, April 30, 2021