Efficient Photochemical Dihydrogen Generation Initiated by a Bimetallic Self-Quenching Mechanism.

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Artificial photosynthesis relies on coupling light absorption with chemical fuel generation. A mechanistic study of visible light-driven H2 production from [Cp*Ir(bpy)H]+ (1) has revealed a new, highly efficient pathway for integrating light absorption with bond formation. The net reaction of 1 with a proton source produces H2, but the rate of excited state quenching is surprisingly acid-independent and displays no observable deuterium kinetic isotopic effect. Time-resolved photoluminescence and labeling studies are consistent with diffusion-limited bimetallic self-quenching by electron transfer. Accordingly, the quantum yield of H2 release nearly reaches unity as the concentration of 1 increases. This unique pathway for photochemical H2 generation provides insight into transformations catalyzed by 1.

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Journal of the American Chemical Society

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