Direct evidence of plasmon enhancement on photocatalytic hydrogen generation over Au/Pt-decorated TiO2 nanofibers†
Direct evidence of plasmon-enhanced H2 generation is observed in photocatalytic water reduction by using TiO2 electrospun nanofibers co-decorated with Au and Pt nanoparticles through dual-beam irradiation. The Au/Pt/TiO2 nanofibers exhibit certain activity for H2 generation under single irradiation at 420 nm that excites the defect/impurity states of TiO2. Significantly, when secondary irradiation at 550 nm is introduced to simultaneously excite Au SPR, we observed 2.5 times higher activity for H2 generation. Further investigation by finely controlling the irradiation wavelengths reveals that the enhancement factor on the photocatalytic activity for H2 generation is directly correlated with the plasmon absorption band of the Au nanoparticles in the Au/Pt/TiO2 nanofibers. The control experiments with different sacrificial agents suggest that the hot plasmonic electrons of Au are responsible for the enhanced photocatalytic activity that can be magnified when TiO2 is simultaneously excited.