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Review article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Energy and Environmental Science
Volume (Issue) 6(2)
Page(s) 407 - 425
Title of proceedings Energy and Environmental Science
DOI 10.1039/c2ee23668k


The search for affordable high performance electrode materials in photoelectrochemical hydrogen production by solar water splitting is an ongoing quest. Hematite is a photoanode material with an electronic band gap suitable for efficient absorption of visible light in a photoelectrochemical cell (PEC). Although its poor electronic structure makes hematite a controversial candidate for PEC, it remains promising because it is an earth abundant, chemically stable and low cost material-necessary prerequisites for PEC to become a competitive cost-efficient solar fuel economy. In addition to reviewing some recent PEC research on hematite and its relevant physical and chemical characteristics, we show how hematite obtained by a low cost synthesis can be refined by hydrothermal treatment and further functionalized by coating with phycocyanin, a light harvesting protein known for photosynthesis in blue-green algae. This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2013.