Photoelectrochemical Hydrogen Production Using Thin Films of Polypyrrole Electrochemically Synthesized
Jhon Puerres-Puerres a, Pablo Ortiz-Herrera c, María T. Cortés M. b
a Chemistry Department, Universidad de los Andes, Carrera 1 No 18A-12, Bloque Q, Bogotá, Colombia
b Chemical Engineering Department, Universidad de los Andes, Carrera 1 Este 19A-40 Edificio Mario Laserna, Bogotá
c Chemistry Department, Universidad de los Andes, Carrera 1 No 18A-12, Bloque Q, Bogotá, Colombia
Proceedings of International Conference on Hybrid and Organic Photovoltaics (HOPV19)
Roma, Italy, 2019 May 12th - 15th
Organizers: Prashant Kamat, Filippo De Angelis and Aldo Di Carlo
Poster, Jhon Puerres-Puerres, 114
Publication date: 11th February 2019

Photoelectrochemical hydrogen production has emerged as a striking alternative to address issues such as the increasing energy demand and the depletion of fossil fuels. However, the process has some important limitations mainly related to low energy conversion efficiency and the stability of photoelectrodes[1] usually constituted by one or several inorganic semiconductors. Nevertheless, some studies have shown that intrinsic conducting polymers can be useful in the construction of composite photoelectroactive materials which allow good charge separations, stability enhancement and rise in the range of light absorption.[2],[3] In this research thin films of polypyrrole electrochemically synthesized on conductive glasses (FTO) were tested for photoelectrochemical hydrogen production. Synthesis of polypyrrole films were carried out using ClO4- as doping anion and applying potentiostatic and galvanostatic signals. The photoelectrochemical performance of the films was studied in aqueous media with Na2S2O3 and with Na2SO4. The effect of reducing polypyrrole before photoelectrochemical characterization was also evaluated. Polypyrrole films with better characteristics were achieved with galvanostatic synthesis at 0.5 mA/cm2, which led to coatings with better adherence and greater stability in the photoelectrochemical process. From chronoamperograms it was found that polypyrrole had a good photoactivity in both electrolytes (Na2S2O3 and Na2SO4) but the current densities were lower and less stable when Na2SO4 was used. This was probably caused by the potential in which water splitting occurs also promotes the over oxidation of the polymer. On the other hand, the reduction of the polypyrrole before carrying out the characterization did not have a significant effect, which is explained by the preference of the oxidized state of polypyrrole in positive potentials versus Ag/AgCl. The present work shows the potential of polypyrrole as photoelectroactive material for hydrogen production and demonstrates the versatility of the electrochemical synthesis of this material to obtain coatings with good characteristics.

The authors acknowledge the support of the Department of Chemistry of the Universidad de Los Andes, the CEIBA foundation and the Research Fund of the Faculty of Sciences-Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia.

MTCM acknowledges the support from the Science Faculty (Programa de Investigación 2018-2019).

© Fundació Scito
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