Conjugated polymer P3HT–Au hybrid nanostructures for enhancing photocatalytic activity†
Metal–semiconductor nanostructures have been the subject of great interest, mainly due to their interesting optical properties and their potential applications in light harvesting, photocatalysis and photovoltaic devices. Here, we have designed raspberry type organic–inorganic hybrid nanostructures of the poly-3-hexylthiophene (P3HT)–Au nanoparticle (NP) composite by a simple solution based synthetic method. The electronic interaction of semiconducting P3HT polymer nanoparticles with Au nanoparticles exhibits a bathochromic shift of absorption bands and significant photoluminescence quenching of P3HT nanoparticles in this organic–inorganic hybrid system. The photocatalytic activity of this raspberry type hybrid nanostructure is demonstrated under the visible light irradiation and the degradation efficiency is found to be 90.6%. Such organic–inorganic hybrid nanostructures made of a semiconducting polymer and plasmonic nanoparticles could pave the way for designing new optical based materials for applications in photocatalytic and light harvesting systems.