Photocatalytically active ladder polymers

Anastasia Vogel, Mark Forster, Liam Wilbraham, Charlotte L. Smith, Alexander J. Cowan, Martijn A. Zwijnenburg, Reiner Sebastian Sprick, Andrew I. Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)


Conjugated ladder polymers (cLaPs) are introduced as organic semiconductors for photocatalytic hydrogen evolution from water under sacrificial conditions. Starting from a linear conjugated polymer (cLiP1), two ladder polymers are synthesized via post-polymerization annulation and oxidation techniques to generate rigidified, planarized materials bearing dibenzo[b,d]thiophene (cLaP1) and dibenzo[b,d]thiophene sulfone subunits (cLaP2). The high photocatalytic activity of cLaP1 (1307 μmol h-1 g-1) in comparison to that of cLaP2 (18 μmol h-1 g-1) under broadband illumination (λ > 295 nm) in the presence of a hole-scavenger is attributed to a higher yield of long-lived charges (μs to ms timescale), as evidenced by transient absorption spectroscopy. Additionally, cLaP1 has a larger overpotential for proton reduction and thus an increased driving force for the evolution of hydrogen under sacrificial conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-97
Number of pages14
JournalFaraday Discussions
Early online date22 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019


  • conjugated ladder polymers (cLaPs)
  • organic semiconductors
  • photocatalytic hydrogen evolution


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