The photocatalytic splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen using solar energy is one of the most attractive renewable sources of hydrogen fuel. Therefore, considerable efforts have been paid in developing photocatalysts capable of using visible light, which accounts for about 43% of the solar energy. However such a photocatalyst has not been developed so far. We have developed a new Ni-doped indium-tantalum oxide photocatalyst, In1-xNixTaO4 (x = 0.0∼0.2), which induced direct splitting of water into stoichiometric amount of oxygen and hydrogen under visible light irradiation with a quantum yield of about 0.66% at 420.7 nm. We have also developed a new two-step water splitting system using two different semiconductor photocatalysts, Pt/WO3 photocatalyst for oxygen evolution and Pt/SrTiO3(Cr-Ta-doped) photocatalyst for hydrogen evolution, and a redox mediator, I/IO3, mimicking the Z-scheme mechanism of the natural photosynthesis. The quantum yield of this system was about 0.1% at 420.7nm. Both photocatalytic methods are the first examples for visible light water splitting system in the world.

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