A highly efficient nano-photocatalyst for water split

A highly efficient nano-photocatalyst for water split reported by the Manners group


A paper just published in Nature Chem (https://doi.org/10.1038/s41557-020-00580-3​) by Ian Manners group describes highly active photocatalytic nanofibers which split water. The photocatalytic hydrogen evolution reaction is driven by visible-light and offers a technologically simple approach to solar fuel production.
The nanofibers are made by a seeded growth method termed “crystallization-driven self-assembly” which enables the photosensitizer and catalyst to be placed in close proximity in the corona/shell of the polymer-based nanofibers (much closer than is possible in homogeneous solution). This approach mimics natural photocatalysis, in which protein and lipids act as scaffolds in localized photosynthetic organelles. The polymer-based nanofibers provide a platform with the potential to be generalised to numerous related photocatalytic components.
​Dr. Jia Tian from the Manners group at UVic is the 1st author on the paper which describes collaborative work involving 12 scientists in 3 different countries.