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Issue 45, 2017
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Plasmonic support-mediated activation of 1 nm platinum clusters for catalysis

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Abstract

Nanometer-sized metal clusters are prime candidates for photoactivated catalysis, based on their unique tunable optical and electronic properties, combined with a large surface-to-volume ratio. Due to the very small optical cross sections of such nanoclusters, support-mediated plasmonic activation could potentially make activation more efficient. Our support is a semi-transparent gold film, optimized to work in a back-illumination geometry. It has a surface plasmon resonance excitable in the 510–540 nm wavelength range. Ptn clusters (size distribution peaked at n = 46 atoms) have been deposited onto this support and investigated for photoactivated catalytic performance in the oxidative decomposition of methylene blue. The Pt cluster catalytic activity under illumination exceeds that of the gold support by more than an order of magnitude per active surface area. To further investigate the underlying mechanism of plasmon-induced catalysis, the clusters have been imaged with optically-assisted scanning tunneling microscopy under illumination. The photoactivation of the Pt clusters via plasmonic excitation of the support and subsequential electronic excitation of the clusters can be imaged with nanometer resolution. The light-induced tunneling current on the clusters is enhanced relative to the gold film support.

Graphical abstract: Plasmonic support-mediated activation of 1 nm platinum clusters for catalysis

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Publication details

The article was received on 19 Jul 2017, accepted on 02 Nov 2017 and first published on 02 Nov 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7CP04882C
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2017,19, 30570-30577
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    Plasmonic support-mediated activation of 1 nm platinum clusters for catalysis

    S. Wieghold, L. Nienhaus, F. L. Knoller, F. F. Schweinberger, J. J. Shepherd, J. W. Lyding, U. Heiz, M. Gruebele and F. Esch, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2017, 19, 30570
    DOI: 10.1039/C7CP04882C

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