Dynamic Control of Photocatalytic Proton Reduction through the Mechanical Actuation of a Hydrogel Host Matrix

Muwen Yang, Qinsi Xiong, Mohamad S. Kodaimati, Xinyi Jiang, Neil M. Schweitzer, George C. Schatz, Emily A. Weiss*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper describes a photocatalytic hydrogen evolution system that is dynamically and reversibly responsive to the pH of the surrounding solution through the actuation of a microhydrogel (microgel) matrix that hosts the photocatalysts (CdSe/CdS nanorods). The reversible actuation occurs within 0.58 (swelling) and 1.7 s (contraction). ΔpH = 0.01 relative to the pKa of the tertiary amine on the microgel polymer (7.27) results in a reversible change in the average diameter of the microgel hosts by a factor of 2.4 and a change in the photocatalytic turnover frequency (TOF) by a factor of 5. Kinetic isotope effect and photoluminescence quenching experiments reveal that the scavenging of the photoexcited hole by sulfite ions is the rate-limiting step and leads to the observed response of the TOF to pH through the actuation of the microgel. Molecular dynamics simulations quantify a greater local concentration of sulfite hole scavengers for pH < pKa

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12135-12141
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Volume12
Issue number50
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 23 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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