Plasmonic metal–semiconductor photocatalysts and photoelectrochemical cells: a review
The incorporation of plasmonic metals into semiconductors is a promising route to improve the performance of photocatalysts and photoelectrochemical cells. This article summarizes the three major mechanisms of plasmonic energy transfer from a metal to a semiconductor, including light scattering/trapping, plasmon-induced resonance energy transfer (PIRET) and hot electron injection (also called direct electron transfer (DET)). It also discusses the rational design of plasmonic metal–semiconductor heterojunctions based on the underlying plasmonic energy transfer mechanisms. Moreover, this article highlights the applications of plasmonic photocatalysts and photoelectrochemical cells in solar water splitting, carbon dioxide reduction and environmental pollutant decomposition.