Nature Publishing Group (Macmillan Publishers Limited)
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Ni(OH)2 have emerged as important functional materials for solar fuel conversion because of their potential as cost-effective bifunctional catalysts for both hydrogen and oxygen evolution reactions. However, their roles as photocatalysts in the photoinduced charge separation (CS) reactions remain unexplored. In this paper, we investigate the CS dynamics of a newly designed hybrid catalyst by integrating a Ru complex with Ni(OH)2 nanoparticles (NPs). Using time resolved X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XTA), we directly observed the formation of the reduced Ni metal site (~60 ps), unambiguously demonstrating CS process in the hybrid through ultrafast electron transfer from Ru complex to Ni(OH)2 NPs. Compared to the ultrafast CS process, the charge recombination in the hybrid is ultraslow (≫50 ns). These results not only suggest the possibility of developing Ni(OH)2 as solar fuel catalysts, but also represent the first time direct observation of efficient CS in a hybrid catalyst using XTA.
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