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Langmuir. 2005 Jun 7;21(12):5582-7.

Urea photosynthesis inside polyelectrolyte capsules: effect of confined media.

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  • 1Max-Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, D14424 Potsdam, Germany.


The influence of the restricted volume of poly(styrene sulfonate)/poly(allylamine hydrochloride) capsules of different size (2.2, 4.2, and 8.1 microm) on the TiO2-assisted photosynthesis of urea from inorganic precursors (CO2 and NO(3-)) in aqueous solution was demonstrated. Poly(vinyl alcohol) was employed as electron donor to facilitate the photosynthetic process. Decreasing the size of the confined microvolume of polyelectrolyte capsules accelerates the NO(3-) photoreduction, which is a limiting stage of the urea photosynthesis and, correspondingly, increases the efficiency of urea production. The highest yield of urea photosynthesis (37%) was achieved for Cu-modified TiO2 nanoparticles encapsulated inside 2.2 microm poly(styrene sulfonate)/poly(allylamine hydrochloride) capsules.

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