Dye activation of heterogeneous Copper(II)-Species for visible light driven hydrogen generation

Stefanie Kreft, Jörg Radnik, Jabor Rabeah, Giovanni Agostini, Marga Martina Pohl, Eike Gericke, Armin Hoell, Matthias Beller, Henrik Junge, Sebastian Wohlrab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Heterogeneous Cu catalysts are widely used in photocatalytic hydrogen generation. The typical working mode includes the transfer of photo-induced charges from a semiconductor to CuO which itself is reduced to Cu2O to initiate the catalytic cycle. In this contribution a photosensitizer (dye), excited by visible light absorption, was used to transfer an electron to the CuO which after reduction catalyzes the water reduction to hydrogen. Several copper(II)-catalysts on high surface silica were prepared by impregnation or precipitation and applied in photocatalytic water reduction. The best catalyst CuO(Cl0.1)/SiO2, synthesized via incipient wetness impregnation of CuCl2 in MCM-41 and a following precipitation with NaOH, achieved a 6 times higher activity (1702 mmol h−1 g−1) compared to a previously investigated copper system (280 mmol h−1 g−1 for CuI) under the same reaction conditions. All materials were fully characterized by XRD, TEM and N2 sorption and further by magnetic resonance and X-ray methods EPR, ASAXS and XAS. In situ measurements evidenced a reduction of the initial Cu(II)-species, which confirms the (proposed) photocatalytic mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28409-28420
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number53
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes


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