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Title: Ultrafast recombination dynamics in dye-sensitized SnO 2/TiO 2 core/shell films

In dye-sensitized photoelectrosynthesis cells (DSPECs), molecular chromophores and catalysts are integrated on a semiconductor surface to perform water oxidation or CO 2 reduction after a series of light-induced electron transfer events. Unfortunately, recombination of the charge separated state (CSS) is competitive with productive catalysis. To overcome this major obstacle, implementation of photoanodic core/shell films within these devices improve electrochemical behavior and slow recombination through the introduction of an energetic barrier between the semiconductor core and oxidized species on the surface. In this study, interfacial dynamics are investigated in SnO 2/TiO 2 core/shell films derivatized with a Ru(II)-polypyridyl chromophore ([RuII(bpy)2(4,4'-(PO 3H 2) 2bpy)] 2+, RuP) using transient absorption methods. Electron injection from the chromophore into the TiO 2 shell occurs within a few picoseconds after photoexcitation. Loss of the oxidized dye through recombination occurs across time scales spanning 10 orders of magnitude. The majority (60%) of charge recombination events occur shortly after injection (τ = 220 ps), while a small fraction (≤20%) of the oxidized chromophores persists for milliseconds. The lifetime of long-lived CSS depends exponentially on shell thickness, suggesting that the injected electrons reside in the SnO 2 core and must tunnel through the TiO 2 shell to recombine withmore » oxidized dyes. While the core/shell architecture extends the lifetime in a small fraction of the CSS, making water oxidation possible, the subnanosecond recombination process has profound implications for the overall efficiencies of DSPECs.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
SC0001011
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 1948-7185
Publisher:
American Chemical Society
Research Org:
Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS
OSTI Identifier:
1335127