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Plasma Synthesis of Polymer-Capped Dye-Sensitised Anatase Nanopowders for Visible-Light-Driven Hydrogen Evolution

Authors

  • Dr. Angela Kruth,

    Corresponding author
    1. Leibniz Institute for Plasma Science and Technology (INP), Felix-Hausdorff-Str. 2, 17489 Greifswald (Germany), Fax: (+49) 3834-554301
    • Leibniz Institute for Plasma Science and Technology (INP), Felix-Hausdorff-Str. 2, 17489 Greifswald (Germany), Fax: (+49) 3834-554301
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  • Sven Hansen,

    1. Leibniz Institute for Catalysis at the University of Rostock (LIKAT), Albert-Einstein-Str. 29a, 18059 Rostock (Germany), Fax: (+49) 381-128151104
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  • Dr. Torsten Beweries,

    Corresponding author
    1. Leibniz Institute for Catalysis at the University of Rostock (LIKAT), Albert-Einstein-Str. 29a, 18059 Rostock (Germany), Fax: (+49) 381-128151104
    • Leibniz Institute for Catalysis at the University of Rostock (LIKAT), Albert-Einstein-Str. 29a, 18059 Rostock (Germany), Fax: (+49) 381-128151104
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  • Dr. Volker Brüser,

    1. Leibniz Institute for Plasma Science and Technology (INP), Felix-Hausdorff-Str. 2, 17489 Greifswald (Germany), Fax: (+49) 3834-554301
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  • Prof. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Weltmann

    1. Leibniz Institute for Plasma Science and Technology (INP), Felix-Hausdorff-Str. 2, 17489 Greifswald (Germany), Fax: (+49) 3834-554301
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Abstract

Visible-light-driven photocatalysis is currently attracting a great deal of attention because of its potential application in solar water splitting. However, the development of efficient and durable catalyst systems is still a challenging problem. In Ru dye-sensitised TiO2 nanopowders, catalyst performances are found to decline as a result of poor bonding of the dye molecule to the TiO2 surface and subsequent detachment and self-aggregation of the dye. Our strategy to improve the stability of the dye–TiO2 interface is the encapsulation of the dye/TiO2 assembly in an amino-group-containing polyallylamine layer anchored to TiO2. A low-pressure pulsed microwave discharge plasma polymerization process was employed to coat a commercial anatase nanopowder with a thin polyallylamine layer to nanoconfine the adsorbed dye molecules. Electron microscopy and UV/Vis spectroscopy was carried out to characterise the resulting encapsulated nanostructures. The long-term stability of the new nanomaterial as the photoactive component of a water reduction catalyst system for H2 evolution investigated in a slurry reactor under visible-light irradiation showed stable evolution rates over a period of several days.

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