MOF-Based Materials for Photo-electrochemical Solar Fuel Generation
Raya Ifraemov a, Drialys Cardenas-Morcoso b, Sixto Gimenez b, Idan Hod a
a Department of Chemistry and Ilse Katz Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel
b 1 Institute of Advanced Materials (INAM), Universitat Jaume I, Castellon, 12006 (Spain)
nanoGe Fall Meeting
Proceedings of nanoGe Fall Meeting19 (NGFM19)
#SolFuel19. Solar Fuel Synthesis: From Bio-inspired Catalysis to Devices
Berlin, Germany, 2019 November 3rd - 8th
Organizers: Roel van de Krol and Erwin Reisner
Poster, Raya Ifraemov, 371
Publication date: 16th July 2019

Photo-electrochemical cells (PECs), which directly convert sunlight into chemical fuels, are considered to be one of the most promising and economically feasible future technologies for the production of the alternative energy sources. Currently, the main challenge in PECs remains the design of photo-active material that holds the following properties: suitable energy band positions to drive the catalytic reaction, high surface area, porosity, rapid charge transport within the material, high charge injection rates into the electrolyte, as well as structural and chemical stability.

Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) are a subclass of the coordination polymers, built of metal clusters and organic linkers. MOFs have attracted widespread attention for various applications such as gas separation and storage, chemical catalysis, sensing and drug delivery. They owe this popularity to their intrinsic properties: high surface area, porosity and tunable properties that can easily be controlled by a specific selection of metal nodes and organic linkers, resulting in diverse functionality. Those are desired for a material to perform as a good photo-electro catalyst. Nevertheless, the field of PECs based solely on MOF is still in its infancy, mainly due to the low electrical conductivity between the adjacent MOF linkers and the lack of continuous energy bands.

Herein, we present 2 new approaches for the incorporation of MOFs and MOF-derived materials in PEC:

a) The first approach presents a design and study of a PEC system based only on a photo-active MOF. The study reveals that the photo-electrochemical behaviour of a single photo-active MOF-based electrode can be switched from photo-anodic to photo-cathodic simply by changing the nature of the redox mediator in the electrolyte solution. Additionally, as a proof of concept, the MOF-based photo-electrochemical hydrogen evolution reaction was done, opening a new path for the development of a novel type of solar fuel generating PECs.

b) The second approach presents the utilization of MOFs as a high surface area precursor material to yield porous conductive inorganic material. This approach allows us to overcome the MOF’s low conductivity and still benefit from its unique properties. In this project a MOF-derived material is utilized as a new type of co-catalyst in BiVO4-based photo-electrochemical water splitting cell, thus significantly accelerating its water oxidation kinetics.


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