Recent development in band engineering of binary semiconductor materials for solar driven photocatalytic hydrogen production

Muhammad Tahir, Sehar Tasleem, Beenish Tahir

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

210 Citations (Scopus)


Photocatalytic hydrogen production from water splitting is a promising approach to develop sustainable renewable energy resources and limits the global warming simultaneously. Despite the significant efforts have been dedicated for the synthesis of semiconductor materials, key challenge persists is lower quantum efficiency of a photocatalyst due to charge carrier recombination and inability of utilizing full spectrum of solar light irradiation. In this review, recent developments in binary semiconductor materials and their application for photocatalytic water splitting toward hydrogen production are systematically discoursed. In the main stream, fundamentals and thermodynamic for photocatalytic water splitting and selection of photo-catalysts has been presented. Developments in the binary photocatalysts and their efficiency enhancements though surface sensitization, surface plasmon resonance (SPR) effect, Schoktty barrier and electrons mediation toward enhanced hydrogen production has been deliberated. Different modification approaches including band engineering, coupling of semiconductor catalysts, construction of heterojunction, Z-scheme formation and step-type photocatalytic systems are also discussed. The binary semiconductor materials such as TiO2, g-C3N4, ZnO, ZnS, Fe2O3, CdS, WO3, rGO, V2O5 and AgX (Cl, Br and I) are systematically disclosed. In addition, role of sacrificial reagents for efficient photocatalysis through reforming and hole-scavenger are elaborated. Finally, future perspectives for photocatalytic water splitting towards renewable hydrogen production have been suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15985-16038
Number of pages54
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number32
Publication statusPublished - Jun 11 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Band engineering
  • Binary semiconductor materials
  • Hydrogen production
  • Sacrificial reagents
  • Water splitting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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