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Exploring effects of intermittent light upon visible light promoted water oxidations

Walsh, Dominic; Patureau, Pascaline; Robertson, Karen; Reeksting, Shaun; Lubben, Anneke; Eslava, Salvador; Weller, Mark T.


Dominic Walsh

Pascaline Patureau

Shaun Reeksting

Anneke Lubben

Salvador Eslava

Mark T. Weller


Visible light promoted photocatalytic water oxidations for potential solar fuel production have been studied widely, with many reports on optimization of reagent components. Here we report an exploration on the effects upon ongoing reactions of daylight equivalent light intensity illumination with regulated short dark periods of a few seconds duration as compared to standard continuous illumination. Comparison was made with systems employing synthesized low cost earth abundant iron oxide, calciumoxomanganite and cobalt oxide nanoparticulate catalysts together with a [Ru(bpy)3]2+ light harvesting dye and an electron acceptor. Yields of gaseous O2 and proton production were measured in situ and in real time. The study found that low cost catalysts could give very significantly increased O2 yields, turn over frequency and improved reaction profiles by use of simple on/off illumination. A range of timings with identical overall photon flux were tested and an optimum determined. Analysis of effects upon the light sensitizer under the range of lighting conditions (through mass spectrometry and UV-vis measurements), together with implementation of a continuous flow system as comparison to the batch reactions, were all employed to help elucidate the mechanisms for the clear improvements in reaction yields observed. These are believed to stem from reduction in self-decomposition of excess oxidized sensitizer and better synchronization of cyclic sensitizer oxidation/reductions with water oxidation at the metal oxide surface at specific light on?:?off timing.


Walsh, D., Patureau, P., Robertson, K., Reeksting, S., Lubben, A., Eslava, S., & Weller, M. T. (2017). Exploring effects of intermittent light upon visible light promoted water oxidations. Sustainable Energy and Fuels, 1(10), 2101-2109.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 23, 2017
Online Publication Date Oct 2, 2017
Publication Date Nov 21, 2017
Deposit Date Jan 17, 2019
Journal Sustainable Energy & Fuels
Print ISSN 2398-4902
Publisher Royal Society of Chemistry
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 1
Issue 10
Pages 2101-2109
Public URL
Publisher URL!divAbstract