Elucidating the Photoredox Nature of Isolated Iron Active Sites on MCM-41

Laura Collado, Ingrid Jansson, Ana E. Platero-Prats, Virginia Perez-Dieste, Carlos Escudero, Elies Molins, Lluis Casas I Doucastela, Benigno Sánchez, Juan M. Coronado, David P. Serrano, Silvia Suarez, Victor A. De La Peña-O'Shea

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11 Citations (Scopus)


© 2017 American Chemical Society. Photocatalytic performance is highly dependent on the nature and dispersion of the active sites, playing a crucial role in the optoelectronic and charge-transfer processes. Here, we report stabilized isolated iron on MCM-41 as a highly active catalyst for a photoredox reaction. The unique nature of the single-atom centers exhibit a trichloroethylene conversion per iron site that is almost 5 times higher than that of TiO2. Advanced characterization and theoretical calculations indicate the generation of hydroxyl radicals, through a photoinduced ligand-to-metal charge-transfer mechanism, which act as hole scavengers that lead to the formation of intermediate oxo-iron species (Fe=O). This intermediate species is the key step in promoting the photocatalytic reactions. Understanding the mechanistic photoredox pathway in isolated active site materials is imperative for developing highly efficient nonprecious photocatalysts for environmental or energy applications. (Figure Presented).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1646-1654
JournalACS Catalysis
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2017


  • charge-transfer processes
  • density functional theory
  • isolated active site materials
  • photoredox mechanism
  • structure-optoelectronic relationship


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