Photoelectrochemical H2 Evolution with a Hydrogenase Immobilized on a TiO2-Protected Silicon Electrode.
The combination of enzymes with semiconductors enables the photoelectrochemical characterization of electron-transfer processes at highly active and well-defined catalytic sites on a light-harvesting electrode surface. Herein, we report the integration of a hydrogenase on a TiO2-coated p-Si photocathode for the photo-reduction of protons to H2. The immobilized hydrogenase exhibits activity on Si attributable to a bifunctional TiO2 layer, which protects the Si electrode from oxidation and acts as a biocompatible support layer for the productive adsorption of the enzyme. The p-Si|TiO2|hydrogenase photocathode displays visible-light driven production of H2 at an energy-storing, positive electrochemical potential and an essentially quantitative faradaic efficiency. We have thus established a widely applicable platform to wire redox enzymes in an active configuration on a p-type semiconductor photocathode through the engineering of the enzyme-materials interface.
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