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Light-Induced Charge Transfer from Transition-Metal-Doped Aluminum Clusters to Carbon Dioxide

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journal contribution
posted on 30.06.2021, 15:39 by Alexandra Göbel, Angel Rubio, Johannes Lischner
Charge transfer between molecules and catalysts plays a critical role in determining the efficiency and yield of photochemical catalytic processes. In this paper, we study light-induced electron transfer between transition-metal-doped aluminum clusters and CO2 molecules using first-principles time-dependent density-functional theory. Specifically, we carry out calculations for a range of dopants (Zr, Mn, Fe, Ru, Co, Ni, and Cu) and find that the resulting systems fall into two categories: Cu- and Fe-doped clusters exhibit no ground-state charge transfer, weak CO2 adsorption, and light-induced electron transfer into the CO2. In all other systems, we observe ground-state electron transfer into the CO2 resulting in strong adsorption and predominantly light-induced electron back-transfer from the CO2 into the cluster. These findings pave the way toward a rational design of atomically precise aluminum photocatalysts.