Panchromatic ternary polymer dots (Pdots) consisting of two conjugated polymers (PFBT and PFODTBT) based on fluorene and benzothiadiazole groups, and one small molecular acceptor (ITIC) have been prepared and assessed for photocatalytic hydrogen production with the assistance of a Pt cocatalyst. Femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopic studies of the ternary Pdots have revealed both energy and charge transfer processes that occur on the time scale of sub-picosecond between the different components. They result in photogenerated electrons being located mainly at ITIC, which acts as both electron and energy acceptor. Results from cryo-transmission electron microscopy suggest that ITIC forms crystalline phases in the ternary Pdots, facilitating electron transfer from ITIC to the Pt cocatalyst and promoting the final photocatalytic reaction yield. Enhanced light absorption, efficient charge separation, and the ideal morphology of the ternary Pdots have rendered an external quantum efficiency up to 7% at 600 nm. Moreover, the system has shown a high stability over 120 h without obvious degradation of the photocatalysts.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry