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Pure Appl. Chem., 1999, Vol. 71, No. 2, pp. 321-335


Terminology, relative photonic efficiencies and quantum yields in heterogeneous photocatalysis. Part II: Experimental determination of quantum yields

Angela Salinaro, Alexei V. Emeline, Jincai Zhao, Hisao Hidaka, Vladimir K. Ryabchuk and Nick Serpone

Abstract: In the preceding article [Serpone and Salinaro, Pure Appl. Chem., 71(2), 303-320 (1999)] we examined two principal features of heterogeneous photocatalysis that demanded scrutiny: (i) description of photocatalysis and (ii) description of process efficiencies. For the latter we proposed a protocol relative photonic efficiency which could subsequently be converted to quantum yields. A difficulty in expressing a quantum yield in heterogeneous photochemistry is the very nature of the system, either solid/liquid or solid/gas, which places severe restrictions on measurement of the photon flow absorbed by the light harvesting component, herein the photocatalyst TiO2, owing to non-negligible scattering by the particulates. It was imperative therefore to examine the extent of this problem. Extinction and absorption spectra of TiO2 dispersions were determined at low titania loadings by normal absorption spectroscopy and by an integrated sphere method, respectively, to assess the extent of light scattering. The method is compared to the one reported by Grela et al. [J. Phys. Chem., 100, 16940 (1996)] who used a polynomial extrapolation of the light scattered in the visible region into the UV region where TiO2 absorbs significantly. This extrapolation underestimates the scattering component present in the extinction spectra, and will no doubt affect the accuracy of the quantum yield data. Further, we report additional details in assessing limiting photonic efficiencies and quantum yields in heterogeneous photocatalysis.