Our most recent papers...
468. The Origin of Catalytic Effect in the Reduction of CO2 at Nanostructured TiO2 Films
Ramesha, G. K.; Brennecke, J. F.; Kamat, P. V. ACS Catal. 2014, 4 (9), 3249–3254.
Electrocatalytic activity of mesoscopic TiO2 films towards the reduction of CO2 is probed by depositing a nanostructured film on a glassy carbon electrode. The one-electron reduction of CO2 in acetonitrile seen at an onset potential of -1.1 V (vs. NHE) is ~0.5 V lower than the one observed with a glassy carbon electrode. The electrocatalytic role of TiO2 is elucidated through spectroelectrochemistry and product analysis. Ti3+ species formed when TiO2 film is subjected to negative potentials have been identified as active reduction sites. Binding of CO2 to catalytically active Ti3+ followed by the electron transfer facilitates the initial one-electron reduction process. Methanol was the primary product when the reduction was carried out in wet acetonitrile.
467. Band Filling with Free Charge Carriers in Organometal Halide Perovskites
Manser, J. S.; Kamat, P. V. Nat. Photon. 2014, 8, 737–743.
The unique and promising properties of semiconducting organometal halide perovskites have brought these materials to the forefront of solar energy research. Here, we present new insights into the excited-state properties of CH3>NH3PbI3 thin films through femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopy measurements. The photoinduced bleach recovery at 760 nm reveals that band-edge recombination follows second-order kinetics, indicating that the dominant relaxation pathway is via recombination of free electrons and holes. Additionally, charge accumulation in the perovskite films leads to an increase in the intrinsic bandgap that follows the Burstein–Moss band filling model. Both the recombination mechanism and the band-edge shift are studied as a function of the photogenerated carrier density and serve to elucidate the behaviour of charge carriers in hybrid perovskites. These results offer insights into the intrinsic photophysics of semiconducting organometal halide perovskites with direct implications for photovoltaic and optoelectronic applications.
466. Is Graphene a Stable Platform for Photocatalysis? Mineralization of Reduced Graphene Oxide with UV-Irradiated TiO2 Nanoparticles
Radich J. G.; Krenselewski, A.; Zhu, J.; Kamat, P. V. Chem. Mater. 2014, 26 (15), 4662–4668.
The recent thrust in utilizing reduced graphene oxide (RGO) as a support for nanostructured catalyst particles has led to the claims of improved efficiency in solar cells, fuel cells, and photocatalytic degradation of pollutants. Specifically, the robust TiO2 system is often coupled with RGO to improve charge separation and facilitate redox reactions. Here we probe the stability of RGO in the presence of UV-excited TiO2 in aqueous media and establish its reactivity towards OH• radicals, a primary oxidant generated at the TiO2 surface. By probing changes in absorption, morphology and total organic carbon content (TOC) we conclusively demonstrate the vulnerability of RGO towards OH• attack and raise the concern of its use in many applications where OH• are likely to be formed. On the other hand, the OH• radical-mediated mineralization could also enable new approaches in tackling environmental remediation of nanocarbons such as RGO, carbon nanotubes, and fullerenes.
465. Size-Dependent Excited State Behavior of Glutathione-Capped Gold Clusters and Their Light-Harvesting Capacity
Stamplecoskie, K. G.; Kamat, P. V. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136 (31), 11093–11099.
Glutathione protected gold clusters exhibit size dependent excited state and electron transfer properties. Larger size clusters (e.g., Au25GSH18) with core-metal atoms display rapid (<1 ps) as well as slower relaxation (~200 ns) while homoleptic clusters (e.g., Au10-12GSH10-12) exhibit only slower relaxation. These decay components have been identified as metal-metal transition and ligand-to-metal charge transfer respectively. The short lifetime relaxation component becomes less dominant as the size of the gold cluster decreases. The long-lived excited state and ability to participate in electron transfer are integral for these clusters to serve as light harvesting antennae. A strong correlation between the ligand-to-metal charge-transfer excited state lifetime and photocatalytic activity was evidenced from the electron transfer to methyl viologen. The photoactivity of these metal clusters show increasing photocatalytic reduction yield (0.05 - 0.14) with decreasing cluster size, Au25 < Au18 < Au15 < Au10-12. Gold clusters, Au18GSH14, were found to have the highest potential as a photosensitizer based on the quantum yield of electron transfer and good visible light absorption properties.
464. Size Dependent Energy Transfer Pathways in CdSe Quantum Dot-Squaraine Light Harvesting Assemblies: Förster versus Dexter
Hoffman, J. B.; Choi, H.; Kamat, P. V. J. Phys. Chem. C 2014, 118 (32), 18453–18461.
Energy transfer coupled with electron transfer is a convenient approach to mimic photosynthesis in light energy conversion. Better understanding of mechanistic details of energy transfer processes is important to enhance the performance of dye or quantum dot sensitized solar cells. Energy transfer through both long range dipole based Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET), and short range Dexter Energy Transfer (DET) mechanisms have been identified to occur between CdSe quantum dots (QDs) linked to a red-infrared absorbing squaraine dye through a short thiol functional group (SQSH). Solutions of SQSH linked to CdSe were investigated through steady-state and time resolved spectroscopy experiments to explore both mechanisms. Photoluminescence studies revealed that smaller QDs had higher energy transfer efficiencies than predicted by FRET, and femtosecond transient absorption experiments revealed faster energy transfer rates in smaller donor QD sizes. These findings supported A DET process dominating at small donor sizes. The presence of both processes illustrates multiple strategies for utilizing energy transfer in light harvesting assemblies and the required considerations in device design to maximize energy transfer gains through either mechanism.