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Nanowire Photoelectrochemistry


Recent applications of photoelectrochemistry at the semiconductor/liquid interface provide a renewable route of mimicking natural photosynthesis and yielding chemicals from sunlight, water, and air. Nanowires, defined as one-dimensional nanostructures, exhibit multiple unique features for photoelectrochemical applications and promise better performance as compared to their bulk counterparts. This article reviews the use of semiconductor nanowires in photoelectrochemistry. After introducing fundamental concepts essential to understanding nanowires and photoelectrochemistry, the review considers answers to the following questions: (1) How can we interface semiconductor nanowires with other building blocks for enhanced photoelectrochemical responses? (2) How are nanowires utilized for photoelectrochemical half reactions? (3) What are the techniques that allow us to obtain fundamental insights of photoelectrochemistry at single-nanowire level? (4) What are the design strategies for an integrated nanosystem that mimics a closed cycle in artificial photosynthesis? This framework should help readers evaluate the salient features of nanowires for photoelectrochemical applications, promoting the sustainable development of solar-powered chemical plants that will benefit our society in the long run.

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