High-surface-area plasmonic MoO3−x: rational synthesis and enhanced ammonia borane dehydrogenation activity
Well-crystallized, high-surface-area plasmonic MoO3−x was synthesized by combining an evaporation induced self-assembly (EISA) process and a subsequent hydrogen reduction at a certain temperature. The intrinsic anisotropic crystal growth process of tiny MoO3 nuclei to MoO3 nanosheets was successfully inhibited. Detailed characterization by means of XRD, TEM, N2 physisorption, and XPS measurements revealed that the synthesized MoO3−x not only showed a strong localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) under incident light but also had a relatively large specific surface area. The specific surface area (SBET) of MoO3−x after reduction at 200 °C was 30.0 m2 g−1, which was 22.7 and 9.1 times higher than those of commercially available MoO3 and our previously reported MoO3−x nanosheets, respectively. We also demonstrate that such a semiconductor with a large surface area could be used as a highly efficient catalyst that dramatically enhances the dehydrogenation activity for ammonia borane (NH3BH3; AB) under visible light irradiation.