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Issue 6, 2018
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Monitoring the dynamic photocatalytic activity of single CdS nanoparticles by lighting up H2 nanobubbles with fluorescent dyes

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Abstract

The capability of semiconductor nanomaterials to convert solar energy to chemical energy has led to many promising applications, for instance, photocatalyzed H2 generation. Studying this important photocatalytic reaction at the single nanocatalyst level provides a great opportunity to understand the microscopic reaction kinetics and mechanism by overcoming the chemical and structural heterogeneity among individuals. Here we report a fluorescence (FL) labeling strategy to visualize individual H2 nanobubbles that are generated at single CdS nanoparticles during photocatalysis. In operando imaging of nanobubble growth kinetics allows for determination of the photocatalytic activity of single nanocatalysts, which was found to randomly alternate among high activity, low activity and inactive states. In addition to H2 nanobubbles, the present labeling strategy is also suitable for other types of gas nanobubbles. Since nanomaterial-catalyzed gas generation is widely involved in many important photochemical (water splitting), electrochemical (electrolysis) and chemical (nanomotors) reactions, the present work is promising for the general applicability of single nanoparticle catalysis in broad basic and industrial fields by lighting up nanobubbles under commercial and conventional FL microscopes.

Graphical abstract: Monitoring the dynamic photocatalytic activity of single CdS nanoparticles by lighting up H2 nanobubbles with fluorescent dyes

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Publication details

The article was received on 30 Oct 2017, accepted on 14 Jan 2018 and first published on 15 Jan 2018


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C7SC04684G
Chem. Sci., 2018,9, 1448-1453
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
    All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry

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    Monitoring the dynamic photocatalytic activity of single CdS nanoparticles by lighting up H2 nanobubbles with fluorescent dyes

    H. Su, Y. Fang, F. Chen and W. Wang, Chem. Sci., 2018, 9, 1448
    DOI: 10.1039/C7SC04684G

    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material and it is not used for commercial purposes.

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      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

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