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Chemisorption of Atomically Precise 42-Carbon Graphene Quantum Dots on Metal Oxide Films Greatly Accelerates Interfacial Electron Transfer.

J Phys Chem Lett; 10(7): 1431-1436, 2019 Apr 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30848919
Graphene quantum dots (GQDs) are emerging as environmentally friendly, low-cost, and highly tunable building blocks in solar energy conversion architectures, such as solar (fuel) cells. Specifically, GQDs constitute a promising alternative for organometallic dyes in sensitized oxide systems. Current sensitized solar cells employing atomically precise GQDs are based on physisorbed sensitizers, with typically limited efficiencies. Chemisorption has been pointed out as a solution to boost photoconversion efficiencies, by allowing improved control over sensitizer surface coverage and sensitizer-oxide coupling strength. Here, employing time-resolved THz spectroscopy, we demonstrate that chemisorption of atomically precise C42-GQDs (hexa- peri-hexabenzocoronene derivatives consisting of 42 sp2 carbon atoms) onto mesoporous metal oxides, enabled by their functionalization with a carboxylate group, enhances electron transfer (ET) rates by almost 2 orders of magnitude when compared with physisorbed sensitizers. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations, absorption spectroscopy and valence band X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy reveal that the enhanced ET rates can be traced to stronger donor-acceptor coupling strength enabled by chemisorption.