Powering a CO2 Reduction Catalyst with Visible Light through Multiple Sub-picosecond Electron Transfers from a Quantum Dot

Shichen Lian, Mohamad S. Kodaimati, Dmitriy S. Dolzhnikov, Raul Calzada, Emily A Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

59 Citations (Scopus)


Photosensitization of molecular catalysts to reduce CO2 to CO is a sustainable route to storable solar fuels. Crucial to the sensitization process is highly efficient transfer of redox equivalents from sensitizer to catalyst; in systems with molecular sensitizers, this transfer is often slow because it is gated by diffusion-limited collisions between sensitizer and catalyst. This article describes the photosensitization of a meso-tetraphenylporphyrin iron(III) chloride (FeTPP) catalyst by colloidal, heavy metal-free CuInS2/ZnS quantum dots (QDs) to reduce CO2 to CO using 450 nm light. The sensitization efficiency (turnover number per absorbed unit of photon energy) of the QD system is a factor of 18 greater than that of an analogous system with a fac-tris(2-phenylpyridine)iridium sensitizer. This high efficiency originates in ultrafast electron transfer between the QD and FeTPP, enabled by formation of QD/FeTPP complexes. Optical spectroscopy reveals that the electron-transfer processes primarily responsible for the first two sensitization steps (FeIIITPP ? FeIITPP, and FeIITPP ? FeITPP) both occur in <200 fs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8931-8938
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - Jul 5 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry

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