Exploration and optimisation of poly(2,2'-bithiophene) as a stable photo-electrocatalyst for hydrogen production

Chun Hin Ng, Orawan Winther-Jensen, C. Andre Ohlin, Bjorn Winther-Jensen

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An organic photo-electrochemical catalyst for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) based on the conducting polymer, poly(2,20-bithiophene) (PBTh), is further explored. Long-term stability testing shows the successful operation of the catalyst over a period of 12 days at neutral pH with corresponding turnover numbers exceeding 6 104. Experimental parameters such as substrate type, electrolyte, pH and thickness of the film are explored and their subsequent effects on catalytic behaviour and performance discussed. Significant findings include the four-fold increase in performance by the reduction of thickness to better facilitate charge transfer and the successful photo-catalysis of the HER at pH 11, with an onset that is 0.14 V below E0. Faradaic efficiency was also determined with a maximum recorded efficiency of 80% despite known losses such as crossover reactions and H2 escape from within the system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11358 - 11366
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry A
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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