Solar overall water splitting (2H2O ® 2H2 + O2) to produce H2 fuel is a promising approach to provide clean and renewable energy for human life. But, constructing an efficient system to realize this reaction under sunlight irradiation is still a great challenge.
Recently, the team led by Prof. Can Li and Prof. Jun Chen in DICP & DNL made a breakthrough in achieving solar overall water splitting. They successfully construct a natural-artificial hybrid photosystem with photosystem II enzyme and inorganic photocatalyst Ru/SrTiO3:Rh. This hybrid photosystem is able to harvest visible light to split water into H2 and O2, and it works in direct sunlight irradiation outdoors. The activity of this hybrid photosystem reaches to around 2489 mol H2 (mol PSII)-1 h-1. These results have been published on the journal Nature communications (Wangyin Wang, Jun Chen, Can Li, Wenming Tian, Nature Communications, 2014, 5:4647 doi: 10.1038/ncomms5647). It is the first report of constructing natural-artificial hybrid photosystem for solar overall water splitting.