Conjugated polybenzothiadiazoles thermally treated by a hydrolysis process present high hydrophilicity and low water absorption energy, which enable excellent photocatalytic water oxidation performance and stability.
Conjugated polymers feature promising structure and properties for photocatalytic water splitting. Herein, a hydrolysis strategy was demonstrated to rationally modulate the surface hydrophilicity and band structures of conjugated poly-benzothiadiazoles. High hydrophilicity not only enhances the dispersions of polymeric solids in an aqueous solution but also reduces the absorption energy of water molecules. Besides, both theoretical and experimental results reveal that a more positive valence band potential is generated, which contributes to enhancing the photocatalytic water oxidation performance. Accordingly, the surface-modified conjugated polymers show largely promoted photocatalytic water oxidation activities by deposition of cobalt oxides as cocatalysts.Zum Volltext