Engineering 2D Materials for Photocatalytic Water-Splitting from a Theoretical Perspective

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Splitting of water with the help of photocatalysts has gained a strong interest in the scientific community for producing clean energy, thus requiring novel semiconductor materials to achieve highyield hydrogen production. The emergence of 2D nanoscale materials with remarkable electronic and optical properties has received much attention in this field. Owing to the recent developments in highend computation and advanced electronic structure theories, first principles studies offer powerful tools to screen photocatalytic systems reliably and efficiently. This review is organized to highlight the essential properties of 2D photocatalysts and the recent advances in the theoretical engineering of 2D materials for the improvement in photocatalytic overall water-splitting. The advancement in the strategies including (i) single-atom catalysts, (ii) defect engineering, (iii) strain engineering, (iv) Janus structures, (v) type-II heterostructures (vi) Z-scheme heterostructures (vii) multilayer configurations (viii) edge-modification in nanoribbons and (ix) the effect of pH in overall watersplitting are summarized to improve the existing problems for a photocatalytic catalytic reaction such as overcoming large overpotential to trigger the water-splitting reactions without using cocatalysts. This review could serve as a bridge between theoretical and experimental research on next-generation 2D photocatalysts.

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