Enhanced photocatalytic hydrogen evolution from organic semiconductor heterojunction nanoparticles

Recently published research in Nature Materials, by groups working at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Imperial College London and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory details advances in the development of organic semiconductor photocatalysts which could be used in solar panels to harness more of the sun’s energy than was previously possible. The work demonstrates that incorporating a heterojunction between a donor polymer (PTB7-Th) and non-fullerene acceptor (EH-IDTBR) in organic nanoparticles (NPs) can result in hydrogen evolution photocatalysts with greatly enhanced photocatalytic activity. The Henniker HPT-100 plasma system was used to prepare nanoparticles prior to atomic force microscopy to confirm the core-shell morphology of the deposited nanoparticle layer.

Please find the abstract below;

Enhanced photocatalytic hydrogen evolution from organic semiconductor heterojunction nanoparticles

[All information courtesy of  Nature Materials (2020), Jan Kosco, Matthew Bidwell, Hyojung Cha, Tyler Martin, Calvyn T. Howells, Michael Sachs, Dalaver H. Anjum, Sandra Gonzalez Lopez, Lingyu Zou, Andrew Wadsworth, Weimin Zhang, Lisheng Zhang, James Tellam, Rachid Sougrat, Frédéric Laquai, Dean M. DeLongchamp, James R. Durrant & Iain McCulloch |Published:

 

henniker-plasma-citation-march-2020

Photocatalysts formed from a single organic semiconductor typically suffer from inefficient intrinsic charge generation, which leads to low photocatalytic activities. We demonstrate that incorporating a heterojunction between a donor polymer (PTB7-Th) and non-fullerene acceptor (EH-IDTBR) in organic nanoparticles (NPs) can result in hydrogen evolution photocatalysts with greatly enhanced photocatalytic activity. Control of the nanomorphology of these NPs was achieved by varying the stabilizing surfactant employed during NP fabrication, converting it from a core-shell structure to an intermixed donor/acceptor blend and increasing H2 evolution by an order of magnitude. The resulting photocatalysts display an unprecedentedly high H2 evolution rate of over 60,000 µmol h−1 g−1 under 350 to 800 nm illumination, and external quantum efficiencies over 6% in the region of maximum solar photon flux.

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