Water Oxidation by an Electropolymerized Catalyst on Derivatized Mesoporous Metal Oxide Electrodes

A general electropolymerization/electro-oligomerization strategy is described for preparing spatially controlled, multicomponent films and surface assemblies having both light harvesting chromophores and water oxidation catalysts on metal oxide electrodes for applications in dye-sensitized photoelectrosynthesis cells (DSPECs). The chromophore/catalyst ratio is controlled by the number of reductive electrochemical cycles. Catalytic rate constants for water oxidation by the polymer films are similar to those for the phosphonated molecular catalyst on metal oxide electrodes, indicating that the physical properties of the catalysts are not significantly altered in the polymer films. Controlled potential electrolysis shows sustained water oxidation over multiple hours with no decrease in the catalytic current.