A Semiconductor-Mediator-Catalyst Artificial Photosynthetic System for Photoelectrochemical Water Oxidation

Abstract
In fabricating an artificial photosynthesis (AP) electrode for water oxidation, we have devised a semiconductor-mediator-catalyst structure that mimics photosystem II (PSII). It is based on a surface layer of vertically grown nanorods of Fe2 O3 on fluorine doped tin oxide (FTO) electrodes with a carbazole mediator base and a Ru(II) carbene complex on a nanolayer of TiO2 as a water oxidation co-catalyst. The resulting hybrid assembly, FTO|Fe2 O3 |-carbazole|TiO2 |-Ru(carbene), demonstrates an enhanced photoelectrochemical (PEC) water oxidation performance compared to an electrode without the added carbaozle base with an increase in photocurrent density of 2.2-fold at 0.95 V vs. NHE and a negatively shifted onset potential of 500 mV. The enhanced PEC performance is attributable to carbazole mediator accelerated interfacial hole transfer from Fe2 O3 to the Ru(II) carbene co-catalyst, with an improved effective surface area for the water oxidation reaction and reduced charge transfer resistance.

Citation
Niu F, Wang D, Williams LJ, Nayak A, Li F, Chen X, Troian-Gautier L, Huang Q, Liu Y, Brennaman MK, Papanikolas JM, Guo L, Shen S, Meyer TJ. A Semiconductor-Mediator-Catalyst Artificial Photosynthetic System for Photoelectrochemical Water Oxidation. Chemistry. 2022 Feb 3:e202102630. doi: 10.1002/chem.202102630. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35113460.