Solar Energy & Advanced Materials Research Group


New Paper in Advanced Energy Materials

2 June 2017

We are pleased to announce a new paper entitled "Bandgap Engineering of Organic Semiconductors for Highly Efficient Photocatalytic Water Splitting" published by our group member Yiou Wang et al.

and our collaborator Prof. Richard Catlow's group in Advanced Energy Materials.

It is now available online:  Adv. Energy Mater., 2018, DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201801084.


The bandgap engineering of semiconductors, in particular low‐cost organic/polymeric photocatalysts could directly influence their behaviour in visible photon harvesting. However, an effective and rational pathway to stepwise change of the bandgap of an organic/polymeric photocatalyst is still very challenging. An efficient strategy is demonstrated to tailor the bandgap from 2.7 eV to 1.9 eV of organic photocatalysts by carefully manipulating the linker/terminal atoms in the chains via innovatively designed polymerization. These polymers work in a stable and efficient manner for both H2 and O2evolution at ambient conditions (420 nm < λ < 710 nm), exhibiting up to 18 times higher hydrogen evolution rate (HER) than a reference photocatalyst g‐C3N4 and leading to high apparent quantum yields (AQYs) of 8.6%/2.5% at 420/500 nm, respectively. For the oxygen evolution rate (OER), the optimal polymer shows 19 times higher activity compared to g‐C3N4 with excellent AQYs of 4.3%/1.0% at 420/500 nm. Both theoretical modelling and spectroscopic results indicate that such remarkable enhancement is due to the increased light harvesting and improved charge separation. This strategy thus paves a novel avenue to fabricate highly efficient organic/polymeric photocatalysts with precisely tunable operation windows and enhanced charge separation.