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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Precise Colloidal Plasmonic Photocatalysts Constructed by Multistep Photodepositions.

  • Author(s): Ha, Hyun Dong;
  • Yan, Chang;
  • Katsoukis, Georgios;
  • Kamat, Gaurav A;
  • Moreno-Hernandez, Ivan A;
  • Frei, Heinz;
  • Alivisatos, A Paul
  • et al.

Natural photosynthesis relies on a sophisticated charge transfer pathway among multiple components with precise spatial, energetic, and temporal organizations in the aqueous environment. It continues to inspire and challenge the design and fabrication of artificial multicomponent colloidal nanostructures for solar-to-fuel conversion. Herein, we introduce a plasmonic photocatalyst synthesized with colloidal methods with five integrated components including cocatalysts installed in orthogonal locations. The precise deposition of individual inorganic components on an Au/TiO2 nanodumbell nanostructure is enabled by photoreduction and photo-oxidation, which selectively occurs at the TiO2 tip sites and Au lateral sites, respectively. Under visible-light irradiation, the photocatalyst exhibited activity of oxygen evolution from water without scavengers. We demonstrate that each component is essential for improving the photocatalytic performance. In addition, mechanistic studies suggest that the photocatalytic reaction requires combining the hot charge carriers derived from exciting both the d-sp interband transition and the localized surface plasmon resonance of Au.

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