“Plug and Play” photosensitizer–catalyst dyads for water oxidation
We present a simple and easy-to-scale synthetic method to plug common organic photosensitizers into a cyanide-based network structure for the development of photosensitizer-water oxidation catalyst (PS-WOC) dyad assemblies for the photocatalytic water oxidation process. Three photosensitizers, one of which absorbs red light similar to P680 in photosystem II, were utilized to harvest different regions of the solar spectrum. Photosensitizers are covalently coordinated to CoFe Prussian blue structures to prepare PS-WOC dyads. All dyads exhibit steady water oxidation catalytic activities throughout a 6 h photocatalytic experiment. Our results demonstrate that the covalent coordination between the PS and WOC group not only enhances the photocatalytic activity but also improves the robustness of the organic PS group. The photocatalytic activity of “plug and play” dyads relies on several structural and electronic parameters, including the position of the energy levels of the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) and the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) of the PS with respect to the HOMO level of the catalytic site, the intensity and wavelength of the absorption band of the PS, and the number of catalytic sites.