Photostable p‑Type Dye-Sensitized Photoelectrochemical Cells for Water Reduction

A photostable p-type NiO photocathode based on a bifunctional cyclometalated ruthenium sensitizer and a cobaloxime catalyst has been created for visible-light-driven water reduction to produce H2. The sensitizer is anchored firmly on the surface of NiO, and the binding is resistant to the hydrolytic cleavage. The bifunctional sensitizer can also immobilize the water reduction catalyst. The resultant photoelectrode exhibits superior stability in aqueous solutions. Stable photocurrents have been observed over a period of hours. This finding is useful for addressing the degradation issue in dye-sensitized photoelectrochemical cells caused by desorption of dyes and catalysts. The high stability of our photocathodes should be important for the practical application of these devices for solar fuel production.