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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Coupling metal oxide nanoparticle catalysts for water oxidation to molecular light absorbers


Water oxidation, as a mandatory reaction of solar fuels conversion systems, requires the use of light absorbers with electronic properties that are well matched with those of the multi-electron catalyst in order to achieve high efficiency. Molecular light absorbers offer flexibility in fine tuning of orbital energetics, and metal oxide nanoparticles have emerged as robust oxygen evolving catalysts. Hence, these material choices offer a promising approach for the development of photocatalytic systems for water oxidation. However, efficient charge transfer coupling of molecular light absorbers and metal oxide nanoparticle catalysts has proven a challenge. Recent new approaches toward the efficient coupling of these components based on synthetic design improvements combined with direct spectroscopic observation and kinetic evaluation of charge transfer processes are discussed.

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