Science China Materials

, Volume 61, Issue 6, pp 771–805 | Cite as

Recent progress on advanced design for photoelectrochemical reduction of CO2 to fuels

  • Ning Zhang (张宁)
  • Ran Long (龙冉)
  • Chao Gao (高超)
  • Yujie Xiong (熊宇杰)


The energy crisis and global warming become severe issues. Solar-driven CO2 reduction provides a promising route to confront the predicaments, which has received much attention. The photoelectrochemical (PEC) process, which can integrate the merits of both photocatalysis and electrocatalysis, boosts splendid talent for CO2 reduction with high efficiency and excellent selectivity. Recent several decades have witnessed the overwhelming development of PEC CO2 reduction. In this review, we attempt to systematically summarize the recent advanced design for PEC CO2 reduction. On account of basic principles and evaluation parameters, we firstly highlight the subtle construction for photocathodes to enhance the efficiency and selectivity of CO2 reduction, which includes the strategies for improving light utilization, supplying catalytic active sites and steering reaction pathway. Furthermore, diversiform novel PEC setups are also outlined. These exploited setups endow a bright window to surmount the intrinsic disadvantages of photocathode, showing promising potentials for future applications. Finally, we underline the challenges and key factors for the further development of PEC CO2 reduction that would enable more efficient designs for setups and deepen systematic understanding for mechanisms.


photoelectrocatalysis CO2 reduction light utilization semiconductor selectivity 



当今能源危机以及全球温室效应日益严重. 以太阳能驱动的CO2还原为解决这些问题提供了一个全新的绿色途径, 并受到研究者的广泛关注. 光电催化过程能够整合光催化和电催化两者的优势, 从而实现对CO2还原更高的效率和更理想的选择性. 近几十年来, 光电催化CO2还原蓬勃发展, 已经取得了一些令人瞩目的成果. 本文总结了近年来基于光电催化CO2还原的设计工作. 在讨论CO2还原的基本理论和评价体系的基础上, 我们首先介绍了光阴极的调控手段, 包括提高光利用效率、 开拓催化活性位点、 调控反应过程等等. 此外, 我们还讨论了最近发展的用于CO2还原的新型光电催化装置. 我们最后总结了光电催化CO2还原目前还面临的问题和此领域今后研究的重点.



This work was financially supported in part by the National Key R&D Program of China (2017YFA0207301), the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program, 2014CB848900), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21471141 and U1532135), the CAS Key Research Program of Frontier Sciences (QYZDB-SSW-SLH018), the CAS Interdisciplinary Innovation Team, the Innovative Program of Development Foundation of Hefei Center for Physical Science and Technology (2016FXCX003), the Recruitment Program of Global Experts, the CAS Hundred Talent Program, Anhui Provincial Natural Science Foundation (1708085QB26), China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (BH2060000034), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (WK2060190064).


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at the Microscale, iChEM (Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemistry for Energy Materials), School of Chemistry and Materials Science, and National Synchrotron Radiation LaboratoryUniversity of Science and Technology of ChinaHefeiChina

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