Visible-Light-Driven Water Oxidation on Self-Assembled Metal-Free Organic@Carbon Junctions at Neutral pH

JACS Au. 2021 Nov 11;1(12):2294-2302. doi: 10.1021/jacsau.1c00408. eCollection 2021 Dec 27.


Sustainable water oxidation requires low-cost, stable, and efficient redox couples, photosensitizers, and catalysts. Here, we introduce the in situ self-assembly of metal-atom-free organic-based semiconductive structures on the surface of carbon supports. The resulting TTF/TTF•+@carbon junction (TTF = tetrathiafulvalene) acts as an all-in-one highly stable redox-shuttle/photosensitizer/molecular-catalyst triad for the visible-light-driven water oxidation reaction (WOR) at neutral pH, eliminating the need for metallic or organometallic catalysts and sacrificial electron acceptors. A water/butyronitrile emulsion was used to physically separate the photoproducts of the WOR, H+ and TTF, allowing the extraction and subsequent reduction of protons in water, and the in situ electrochemical oxidation of TTF to TTF•+ on carbon in butyronitrile by constant anode potential electrolysis. During 100 h, no decomposition of TTF was observed and O2 was generated from the emulsion while H2 was constantly produced in the aqueous phase. This work opens new perspectives for a new generation of metal-atom-free, low-cost, redox-driven water-splitting strategies.

PMID:34977899 | PMC:PMC8715488 | DOI:10.1021/jacsau.1c00408


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