Plasmon catalytic PATP coupling reaction on Ag-NPs/graphite studied via in situ electrochemical surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy†
The p-aminothiophenol (PATP) coupling reaction on plasmon substrates such as Ag and Au nanoparticles has received extensive attention since the catalytic effect of the surface plasmon was found. Currently, in situ kinetic studies of this reaction are rare, especially those focusing on the specific role of the hot electron–hole carriers. Here, in situ electrochemical surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) is developed to study the plasmon catalytic reaction of PATP in a controlled aqueous environment involving the factors of O2, electron and hole carriers, and solution pH. Ag nanoparticles supported on graphite serve as a SERS substrate, which could separate hot electron–hole pairs effectively and is beneficial to study the effects of hot carriers on plasmon-driven reactions. In situ electrochemical SERS measurements reveal two reaction paths for the PATP coupling reaction. One is that plasmon-induced hot holes activate the dehydrogenation of PATP and then the radical coupling reaction to form p,p′-dimercaptoazobenzene (DMAB) under O2-free conditions. Another is likely to be that the surface Ag2O/AgOH, which is generated from Ag and 1O2/O2−, catalyzes the oxidation of PATP and then the coupling process under O2-rich conditions. Benefitting from the potential/atmosphere controlled measurements in situ, the intermediate species of PATP(NH)/PATP(N) are observed with vibrational bands at around 1056, 1202, 1253, 1395, 1514 and 1540 cm−1.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2020 PCCP HOT Articles