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Photoinduced water splitting in pyridine water clusters

Abstract : Ab-initio calculations predict that pyridine (Py) can act as a photo-catalyst to split water by absorption of a UV photon following the reaction Py-H 2 O + hν → PyH● + OH●. To test this prediction, we performed two types of experiment: in the first, we characterize the electronic spectroscopy of the PyH● radical in the gas phase. In the second, we evidence the reaction through UV excitation of molecular Py-(H2O) n clusters obtained in a supersonic expansion and monitoring the PyH● reaction product. The results show unambigu-ously that PyH● is produced, thus that water is split using pyridine as photo-catalyst. In this paper we show that pyridine can act as a photo-catalytic molecular system, which can dissociate the water covalent bond with UV C light. Water molecule is a ubiquitous system to produce H2 , however VUV light is needed to photo-dissociate the H-OH covalent bond (186 nm, 6.66 eV). Since most of the sunlight reaching the earth is in the visible spectral region, we cannot dissociate the H-OH bond under normal sunlight conditions and it is necessary to design a system that could break the H-OH bond with visible light.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, August 31, 2016 - 4:31:19 PM
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Natalia Esteves-López, Stephane Coussan, Claude Dedonder-Lardeux, Christophe Jouvet. Photoinduced water splitting in pyridine water clusters. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2016, ⟨10.1039/c6cp04398d⟩. ⟨hal-01358389⟩

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