, Volume 64, Issue 1, pp 109-113

Photochemistry at high temperatures – potential of ZnO as a high temperature photocatalyst

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Abstract.

Direct conversion of solar radiation into useful, storable and transportable chemical products is the primary goal of solar chemistry. In this paper we discuss some fundamental aspects of photochemistry at elevated temperatures. We show that luminescence can serve as an indicator of the potential use of a system as a photoconverter. As an example we present experimental data on the chemical potential and on the lifetime of the excited states of ZnO. The low luminescence quantum yield together with a lifetime of about 200 ps indicate that an efficient photochemical conversion on ZnO is highly improbable. We believe this to be a general feature of chemical systems based on a semiconductor photocatalyst, in particular of photoreactions at a solid/gas interface.

Received: 18 June 1996 / Accepted: 20 September 1996