Organic thin film photofaradaic pixels for on-demand electrochemistry in physiological conditions†
We report ultrathin organic photovoltaic elements optimized to run photofaradaic reactions in biological conditions. We demonstrate concurrent oxygen reduction to hydrogen peroxide and glucose oxidation. The devices are powered by deep-red irradiation in the tissue transparency window. We utilize bilayers of phthalocyanine, acting as the light absorber, and perylene diimide, functioning as both electron-acceptor and the hydrogen peroxide evolution electrocatalyst. These heterojunction bilayers are stable when irradiated in simulated physiological conditions, producing photovoltages sufficient to simultaneously drive cathodic oxygen reduction to H2O2 and anodic oxidation of glucose. We find that optimization of the anode metal is critical for sustained photofaradaic reactivity. Our results demonstrate a robust “wet” thin film photovoltaic with potential for physiological applications where localized electrochemical manipulation is desired, in particular the delivery of reactive oxygen species.