[2013年6月14日]

Hybrid Artificial Photosynthetic Systems Comprising Semiconductors as Light Harvesters and Biomimetic Complexes as Molecular Cocatalysts

Solar fuel production through artificial photosynthesis may be a key to generating abundant and clean energy, thus addressing the high energy needs of the world's expanding population. As the crucial components of photosynthesis, the artificial photosynthetic system should be composed of a light harvester (e.g., semiconductor or molecular dye), a reduction cocatalyst (e.g., hydrogenase mimic, noble metal), and an oxidation cocatalyst (e.g., photosystem II mimic for oxygen evolution from water oxidation).Solar fuel production catalyzed by an artificial photosynthetic system starts from the absorption of sunlight by the light harvester, where charge separation takes place, followed by a charge transfer to the reduction and oxidation cocatalysts, where redox reaction processes occur. One of the most challenging problems is to develop an artificial photosynthetic solar fuel production system that is both highly efficient and stable. The assembly of cocatalysts on the semiconductor (light harvester) not only can facilitate the charge separation, but also can lower the activation energy or overpotential for the reactions. An efficient light harvester loaded with suitable reduction and oxidation cocatalysts is the key for high efficiency of artificial photosynthetic systems

In this Account, we describe our strategy of hybrid photocatalysts using semiconductors as light harvesters with biomimetic complexes as molecular cocatalysts to construct efficient and stable artificial photosynthetic systems. We chose semiconductor nanoparticles as light harvesters because of their broad spectral absorption and relatively robust properties compared with a natural photosynthesis system. Using biomimetic complexes as cocatalysts can significantly facilitate charge separation via fast charge transfer from the semiconductor to the molecular cocatalysts and also catalyze the chemical reactions of solar fuel production. The hybrid photocatalysts supply us with a platform to study the photocatalytic mechanisms of H2/O2 evolution and CO2 reduction at the molecular level and to bridge natural and artificial photosynthesis. We demonstrate the feasibility of the hybrid photocatalyst, biomimetic molecular cocatalysts, and semiconductor light harvester for artificial photosynthesis and therefore provide a promising approach for rational design and construction of highly efficient and stable artificial photosynthetic systems

Hybrid Artificial Photosynthetic Systems Comprising Semiconductors as Light Harvesters and Biomimetic Complexes as Molecular Cocatalysts
FUYU WEN AND CAN LI*
Acc. Chem. Res. DOI:10.1021/ar300224u



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