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Khavryuchenko O.V.,CompChem Group | Khavryuchenko O.V.,Center for Research in Molecular Modeling | Wang L.,Ruhr University Bochum | Mitoraj D.,Ruhr University Bochum | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Coordination Chemistry | Year: 2015

Coordinative incorporation of Co(II/III) cocatalytic sites into organic-inorganic hybrids of TiO2 and "polyheptazine" (PH, poly(aminoimino)heptazine, melon, or "graphitic carbon nitride") has been investigated both by quantum chemical calculations and experimental techniques. Specifically, density-functional theory (DFT) calculations (PBE/def2-TZVPP) suggest that Co(II/III) and Zn(II) ions adsorb in nanocavities at the surface of the hybrid PH-TiO2 cluster, a prediction which can be further confirmed experimentally by 15N nuclear magnetic resonance in the case of the Zn complex. The absorption spectra of the complexes were characterized by time-dependent DFT calculations, suggesting a change of color upon Co ion binding which can in fact be observed with the naked eye. Hybrid TiO2-PH photoelectrodes were impregnated with Co(II) ions from aqueous cobalt nitrate solutions. Optical absorption data suggest that Co(II) ions are predominantly present as single ions coordinated within the nitrogen cavities of TiO2-PH, and any undesired blocking of light absorption is negligible. The cobalt-induced cocatalytic sites can efficiently couple to the holes photogenerated by visible light in TiO2-PH, leading to complete oxidation of water to dioxygen. Our results indicate that coordinative incorporation of metal ions into well-designed surface sites in the light absorber is sufficient to drive complex multielectron transformations in artificial photosynthetic systems. © 2015 Taylor & Francis. Source

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