Exploring the use of metal-organic frameworks as catalysts for solar fuel production

Authors: Felipe Gandara (Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid, CSIC) , Víctor A. De La Pena O'Shea (IMDEA Energy Institute)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Diamond Annual Review Highlight

State: Published (Approved)
Published: July 2021

Abstract: Solar fuels are made from common substances, such as water and carbon dioxide, using solar energy. Producing fuels using artificial photosynthesis is one of the most crucial challenges in sustainable energy. Photocatalytic materials can be used in photo-electrochemical cells to perform water splitting or carbon dioxide reduction for fuels and chemicals. For example, hydrogen production is a key process in the transition towards sustainable energy generation technologies. However, the current generation of photo(electro) catalysts suffer from several limitations related to charge carrier recombination phenomena and inefficient light harvesting. To overcome these problems we need to develop more sustainable and efficient materials. We also need to understand the charge transfer dynamics and identify which species are involved in the process at different timescales. Researchers from the Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales and the IMDEA Energy Institute in Madrid investigated the potential for metal- organic frameworks (MOFs) to act as photo(electro)catalysts. They used Diamond Light Source's Versatile Soft X-ray (VerSoX) beamline (B07), which can perform core-hole clock experiments at the sulphur K edge that provide information on the charge dynamics processes between linkers and metals. These experiments were critical to determining the delocalisation rates of charges in the initial steps of the process. The results demonstrated the organic linker’s key role during the photo(electro)catalytic process with the MOF catalyst. They helped identify intermediate species generated during the reaction and improve our understanding of the charge dynamic process.

Journal Keywords: Solar Fuels; Artificial photosynthesis; Metal organic frameworks; Charge dynamics; In situ characterisation

Diamond Keywords: Solar Fuel; Artificial Photosynthesis

Subject Areas: Materials, Chemistry, Energy

Instruments: B07-C-Versatile Soft X-ray beamline: Ambient Pressure XPS and NEXAFS

Added On: 26/11/2021 13:59

Discipline Tags:

Earth Sciences & Environment Sustainable Energy Systems Energy Climate Change Physical Chemistry Catalysis Chemistry Materials Science Metal-Organic Frameworks Metallurgy Organometallic Chemistry

Technical Tags:

Spectroscopy X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS)