Water oxidation with cobalt-loaded linear conjugated polymer photocatalysts

Reiner Sebastian Sprick, Zheng Chen, Alexander J. Cowan, Yang Bai, Catherine M. Aitchison, Yuanxing Fang, Martijn A. Zwijnenburg, Andrew I. Cooper, Xinchen Wang

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The first examples of linear conjugated organic polymer photocatalysts that produce oxygen from water after loading with cobalt and in the presence of an electron scavenger are reported. The oxygen evolution rates, which are higher than for related organic materials, can be rationalized by a combination of the thermodynamic driving force for water oxidation, the light absorption of the polymer, and the aqueous dispersibility of the relatively hydrophilic polymer particles. We also used transient absorption spectroscopy to study the best performing system and we found that fast oxidative quenching of the exciton occurs (picoseconds) in the presence of an electron scavenger, minimizing recombination.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalAngewandte Chemie International Edition
Early online date28 Jun 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Jun 2020


  • oxygen production
  • polymer photocatalysts
  • soft photocatalysts
  • solar fuel
  • water oxidation

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    Sprick, R. S., Chen, Z., Cowan, A. J., Bai, Y., Aitchison, C. M., Fang, Y., Zwijnenburg, M. A., Cooper, A. I., & Wang, X. (2020). Water oxidation with cobalt-loaded linear conjugated polymer photocatalysts. Angewandte Chemie International Edition . https://doi.org/10.1002/anie.202008000