Shedding light on the nature of the catalytically active species in photocatalytic reactions using Bi2O3 semiconductor

Paola Riente (Corresponding author), Mauro Fianchini, Patricia Llanes, Miquel A. Pericàs, Timothy Noël (Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The importance of discovering the true catalytically active species involved in photocatalytic systems allows for a better and more general understanding of photocatalytic processes, which eventually may help to improve their efficiency. Bi2O3 has been used as a heterogeneous photocatalyst and is able to catalyze several synthetically important visible-light-driven organic transformations. However, insight into the operative catalyst involved in the photocatalytic process is hitherto missing. Herein, we show through a combination of theoretical and experimental studies that the perceived heterogeneous photocatalysis with Bi2O3 in the presence of alkyl bromides involves a homogeneous BinBrm species, which is the true photocatalyst operative in the reaction. Hence, Bi2O3 can be regarded as a precatalyst which is slowly converted in an active homogeneous photocatalyst. This work can also be of importance to mechanistic studies involving other semiconductor-based photocatalytic processes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number625
Number of pages10
JournalNature Communications
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jan 2021

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