Canadian Journal of Chemistry, 2017, vol 96, 2, pp. 148-157
Organic polymer nanoparticles have been gaining attention in photovoltaics as a means to control the morphology of polymer composite films for the purpose of studying bulk heterojunction, photoactive layers. This work investigates the preparation of nanostructured organic thin films from P3HT:PC61BM nanoparticles and their characterization as photoelectrodes for the photoelectrochemical reduction of hydrogen in acidic solutions. The morphology and optoelectronic properties of the nanostructured photocathodes are compared with conventional, solution-cast thin films of P3HT:PC61BM. The nanostructured photoelectrodes provide increased surface area compared with solution-cast films through control of the nanoscale morphology within each nanoparticle, leading to enhanced P3HT:PC61BM phase segregation. The photo-assisted deposition of platinum nanoparticles as hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) catalysts onto the nanostructured P3HT:PC61BM photocathodes facilitates the photoreduction of protons to H2.