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Control of electrons' spin eliminates hydrogen peroxide formation during water splitting

By Wilbert Mtangi, Francesco Tassinari, Kiran Vankayala, RA Andreas Vargas Jentzsch, B Adelizzi, ARA Anja Palmans, Claudio Fontanesi, EW Bert Meijer and Ron Naaman


\u3cp\u3eThe production of hydrogen through water splitting in a photoelectrochemical cell suffers from an overpotential that limits the efficiencies. In addition, hydrogen-peroxide formation is identified as a competing process affecting the oxidative stability of photoelectrodes. We impose spin-selectivity by coating the anode with chiral organic semiconductors from helically aggregated dyes as sensitizers; Zn-porphyrins and triarylamines. Hydrogen peroxide formation is dramatically suppressed, while the overall current through the cell, correlating with the water splitting process, is enhanced. Evidence for a strong spin-selection in the chiral semiconductors is presented by magnetic conducting (mc-)AFM measurements, in which chiral and achiral Zn-porphyrins are compared. These findings contribute to our understanding of the underlying mechanism of spin selectivity in multiple electron-transfer reactions and pave the way toward better chiral dye-sensitized photoelectrochemical cells.\u3c/p\u3

Publisher: 'American Chemical Society (ACS)'
Year: 2017
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Provided by: Repository TU/e
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