Extensive energy conversion of solar energy can only be achieved by large-scale collection of solar flux. The technology that satisfies this requirement must be as simple as possible to reduce capital cost. Overall water splitting by powder-form photocatalysts directly produces a mixture of H 2 and O2 (chemical energy) in a single reactor, which does not require any complicated parabolic mirrors and electronic devices. Because of its simplicity and low capital cost, it has tremendous potential to become the major technology of solar energy conversion. Development of highly efficient photocatalysts is desired. This review addresses why visible light responsive photocatalysts are essential to be developed. The state of the art for the photocatalysts for overall water splitting is briefly described. Moreover, various fundamental aspects for developing efficient photocatalysts, such as particle size of photocatalysts, cocatalysts, and reaction kinetics are discussed. Copyright © 2011 De Gruyter.
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