Hydrogen gas has been produced by reforming glucose in a hybrid photoelectrochemical cell that couples a dye-sensitized nanoparticulate wide band gap semiconductor photoanode to the enzyme-based oxidation of glucose. A layer of porphyrin sensitizer is adsorbed to a TiO2 nanoparticulate aggregate sintered to a conducting glass substrate to form the photoanode. Excitation of the porphyrin results in electron injection into the TiO2, and migration to a microporous platinum cathode where hydrogen is produced by hydrogen ion reduction. The oxidized sensitizer dye is reduced by NADH, regenerating the dye and poising the NAD /NADH redox couple oxidizing. The NAD is recycled to NADH by the enzyme glucose dehydrogenase, which obtains the necessary electrons from oxidation of glucose. The reforming of glucose produces gluconolactone, which hydrolyzes to gluconate; the electrochemical potential necessary to overcome thermodynamic and kinetic barriers to hydrogen production by NADH is provided by light. The quantum yield of hydrogen is ∼2.5%.
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Vol. 81 • No. 4