Photoinduced Charge Carrier Generation and Ground-state Charge Transport in Metal-Organic Frameworks For Energy Conversion
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs), a class of porous materials realized via reticular construction of a plethora of organic linkers and metal nodes, have emerged as excellent candidates for light-harvesting compositions (LHC), photo or electrocatalysis. This is due to their ability to organize chromophores and metal nodes with desired functionalities, and remarkable porosity that allows efficient mass transfer of reactants and electrolytes. Recent studies have shown intriguing delocalized excited state of the orderly organized pigments in MOFs. Furthermore, the accessible pores/channels allow it to host complementary optical/redox active species within the frameworks by means of de novo or postsynthetic functionalization, as a manner for MOF compositions to integrate functionalities beyond photosensitizer, such as photo/electrocatalytic sites. In such multi-component assemblies, profound understanding of charge transfer and separation process is crucial to make the designed LHC efficient. Therefore, we could adopt chromophoric MOFs as a scaffold to systematically investigate photoinduced charge transfer by installing judiciously selected redox moieties into MOFs, whose unique electronic properties could define distinct electronic interplay with MOFs. From an aspect of further applications, photo-generated electrons can be utilized more efficiently by an external electric field applied on MOF films, which prolongs the charge-separation lifetime. For this purpose, sufficient electrical conductivity is necessary to allow charges delivered across the MOF film. Considering a large energy mismatch between the majority of traditional metal nodes including metal oxo clusters and carboxylic based struts, charge transport is defined by a slow hopping process, which hinders the harvesting of relatively short-lived separated charges. Hence, developing neoteric linkage chemistry is critically needed to overcome the charge-transport challenge.Keeping these points in mind, the scope of this dissertation mainly focuses on unraveling the fundamental principles of photoinduced charge transfer and separation, ground-state charge transport boosted by nontraditional coordination chemistry and incorporation of complementary redox species, and their substantial correlation with MOF-based photocatalysis, electrocatalysis and photoelectrocatalysis. The first chapter lays the foundational knowledge regarding generic properties (chemical and physical) of MOFs, and adopted typical postsynthetic functionalization method, namely, solvent-assisted ligand incorporation (SALI), and other physical processes including photoinduced charge and energy transfer among components within MOFs, and mechanism of electron transport, that has so far been understood, in MOFs driven by an external electric field and commonly used approaches to measure that. Chapter two and three reveal the rule to control photoinduced charge transfer in MOF compositions prepared by the installation of a series of zinc porphyrins possessing gradient excited-state and frontier-orbital energy that can define distinct charge-transfer driving force into the mesopore of a photosensitizing MOF, NU-1000. These compositions show potential for their utilization as artificial light-harvesting assemblies. Chapter four highlights new design for solid porous CO2 reduction catalysts realized by introducing cobalt phthalocyanine into NU-1000. Importantly, we interpreted the catalytic activity from the aspect of charge transport efficiency, by comparing with catalysts constituted by NU-1000 and different molecular catalysts. To harvest the photo-generated electrons, an external electric field can be applied on MOF films deposited on transparent electrodes under photoexcitation, for which sufficient electrical conductivity is a must. Therefore, in chapter five, a new semiconducting coordination polymer framework was developed by employing a novel carbodithioate group for the linkage with nickel(II) that extends in three dimensions, which shows enhanced, electrical conductivity (i.e. 10-6 – 10-7 S cm-1) in contrast to traditional carboxylate-based MOFs due to a more delocalized electronic feature of the carbodithioate-nickel cluster. More importantly, its unique electronic properties, especially a long-lived charge-separation state captured by transient-absorption technique, could alleviate the compromise between electrical conductivity and charge separation (resulted from bandgap) of light-harvesting material. We then extend this binding group to chromium(III), as introduced in chapter 6, leading to a paramagnetic 3D coordination polymer with metallic conductivity as opposed to its nickel counterpart.
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