Visible-light driven hydrogen production using chlorophyll derivatives conjugated with a viologen moiety in the presence of platinum nanoparticles†
The utilization of the light-harvesting and electron-transferring function of chlorophylls (Chls) has received attention for visible-light driven hydrogen production. In this work, a series of Chl derivatives based on pyropheophorbide-a (Pyro-a) conjugated with a viologen moiety, including a Pyro-a methyl ester directly bonded with the viologen at the 3-position 1, its 31-methylene analog 2 and Pyro-a connected with the viologen in the 17-substituent 3, were synthesized from chemical modification of naturally occurring Chl-a and characterized in terms of their photochemical and photophysical properties. As the photoexcited singlet state of the Pyro-a moiety was strongly quenched by the viologen moiety in a molecule, the effective photoinduced intramolecular electron transfer from Pyro-a to the bonded viologen moiety occurred. Moreover, these molecules were applied as a photosensitizer in the system for visible-light driven hydrogen production with platinum nanoparticles via intramolecular reduction of the bonded viologen moiety. Efficient photoreduction of external methyl viologen and successive hydrogen production on platinum nanoparticles were achieved using the synthetic conjugate of Pyro-a with the viologen moiety as a photosensitizer. In particular, effective visible-light driven hydrogen production was accomplished using 3 and platinum nanoparticles via the reduction of external methyl viologen.