Organic photoelectrode engineering: accelerating photocurrent generationviadonor-acceptor interactions and surface-assisted synthetic approach

Yaroslav S. Kochergin, Seyyed Mohsen Beladi-Mousavi, Bahareh Khezri, Pengbo Lyu, Michael J. Bojdys, Martin Pumera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Conventional photoelectrocatalysts composed of precious metals and inorganic elements have limited synthetic design, hence, hampered modularity of their photophysical properties. Here, we demonstrate a scalable, one-pot synthetic approach to grow organic polymer films on the surface of the conventional copper plate under mild conditions. Molecular precursors, containing electron-rich thiophene and electron-deficient triazine-rings, were combined into a donor-acceptor π-conjugated polymer with a broad visible light adsorption range due to a narrow bandgap of 1.42 eV. The strong charge push-pull effect enabled the fabricated donor-acceptor material to have a marked activity as an electrode in a photoelectrochemical cell, reaching anodic photocurrent density of 6.8 μA cm−2(at 0.6 Vvs.Ag/AgCl, pH 7). This value is 3 times higher than that of the model donor-donor thiophene-only-based polymer and twice as high as that of the analogue synthesized in bulk using the heterogenous CuCl catalyst. In addition, the fabricated photoanode showed a 2-fold increase in the photoelectrocatalytic oxygen evolution from water upon simulated sunlight irradiation with the photocurrent density up to 4.8 mA cm−2(at 1.0 Vvs.Ag/AgCl, pH 14). The proposed engineering strategy opens new pathways toward the fabrication of efficient organic “green” materials for photoelectrocatalytic solar energy conversion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7162-7171
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry A
Volume9
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Mar 21

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the project Advanced Functional Nanorobots (reg. no. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/15_003/0000444 nanced by the EFRR). M. J. B. thanks the European Research Council (ERC) for funding under the Starting Grant Scheme (BEGMAT-678462). Authors acknowledge Dr Jan Plutnar from UCT Prague for XPS measurements, Dr Stanislava Matˇejková from IOCB Prague for elemental analysis and ICP-OES measurements, Dr Martin Draˇćınsk´y from IOCB Prague for solid-state NMR measurements, and Arnoˇst Zukal from J. Heyrovsky Institute of Physical Chemistry for gas adsorption measurements.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the project Advanced Functional Nanorobots (reg. no. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/15_003/0000444 financed by the EFRR). M. J. B. thanks the European Research Council (ERC) for funding under the Starting Grant Scheme (BEGMAT-678462). Authors acknowledge Dr Jan Plutnar from UCT Prague for XPS measurements, Dr Stanislava Mat?jkov? from IOCB Prague for elemental analysis and ICP-OES measurements, Dr Martin Dra??nsk? from IOCB Prague for solid-state NMR measurements, and Arno?t Zukal from J. Heyrovsky Institute of Physical Chemistry for gas adsorption measurements.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Royal Society of Chemistry 2021.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science(all)

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