Selective photocatalytic oxidation of benzyl alcohol to benzaldehyde or C-C coupled products by visible-light-absorbing quantum dots

Kevin P. McClelland, Emily A. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


This Forum Article describes the photocatalytic oxidation of benzyl alcohol by visible-light-absorbing colloidal CdS quantum dots (QDs), with 99% selectivity for benzaldehyde or 91% selectivity for C-C coupled products (primarily hydrobenzoin). The selectivity is tuned through the number of low-valent Cd atoms photodeposited on the surfaces of the QDs in situ; this deposition is enhanced by addition of a Cd2+ salt and suppressed by addition of an electron scavenger, anthroquinone-2-sulfonate, to the reaction mixture. In both cases, the external quantum efficiency (number of oxidative equivalents extracted from the QDs per incident photon) of the system is ∼1%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-96
Number of pages5
JournalACS Applied Energy Materials
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 28 2019



  • Electron scavenger
  • Phosphonate ligands
  • Photodeposition
  • Product selectivity
  • Semiconductor nanocrystals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrochemistry
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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