Photo-excitable electrodes were prepared by incorporating magnesium chlorophyll (MgChl) or manganese chlorophyll (MnChl) into the thin layer of such liquid cyrstals as N-(p-methoxybenzylidene)-p-butylaniline (MBBA) and 4′-heptyl-4-cyanobiphenyl (HCB), being attached to the platinum surface. The MgChl-MBBA electrode gave the positive photo-induced potential shift in an acidic solution. In sharp contrast, the negative photo-induced potential shift was developed by the MnChl-HCB electrode in an alkaline solution. The involvement of a liquid crystal prominently enhanced the photo-response of the immobilized chlorophylls. The photoelectrochemical energy conversion system modeled on the photosynthetic process was assembled by employing the MgChl-MBBA and the MnChl-HCB electrodes as a cathode and an anode, respectively. The photocurrent derived from the system was concluded to result from the decomposition of water, since an evidence for the molecular oxygen evolution at the MnChl-HCB electrode was obtained. Furthermore, the incorporation of β-carotene was found to markedly enhance the stability of the MnChl-HCB electrode. © 1978.
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