The field of photoelectrochemical (PEC) cells for solar water splitting or CO2 reduction has attracted intense attention of many research groups in last 15 years. Nevertheless, a cost-effective and efficient PEC cell for hydrogen production in the large scale was not yet discovered. The core functionality of the PEC cell is provided by the semiconductor/liquid junction, creating the electrostatic field to separate the photogenerated charges. This work aims to be a starting point for a newcomer in the field providing a compact knowledge about the charge transport and electrochemistry fundamentals in semiconductor/liquid junctions in the steady state. We describe charge transport within the semiconductor and electron transfer between the semiconductor and electrolyte, followed by the effect of illumination and charge recombination on charge transport. Finally, we discuss the effects due to surface trap states and the relation of the theoretical expressions and experimental results.
Part of the book: New Advances in Semiconductors