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Issue 29, 2018
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Plasmon-driven water splitting enhancement on plasmonic metal–insulator–semiconductor hetero-nanostructures: unraveling the crucial role of interfacial engineering

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Abstract

Understanding and controlling the charge transfer behavior across the interface/junction in hybrid nanostructures is essential for various plasmon-enhanced catalytic reactions. The rational design of plasmonic nanostructures offers a unique capability for eliminating the daunting complexity of the electronic effect induced by interfacial interactions and maximizing the conversion efficiency of solar energy into chemical energy by surface coupling. Herein, we tactfully construct a new type of plasmon-driven photoanode based on plasmonic metal–insulator–semiconductor (PMIS) hetero-nanostructures (Au@SiO2NP-decorated α-Fe2O3 nanorod array), by using Fe2O3 nanoarrays as model semiconductor structures and Au@SiO2 NPs as photosensitizers, for optimizing the photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting performance. The thin insulating layer (SiO2) of the hetero-nanostructure has been found to play a crucial role in significantly enhancing the plasmon-driven water splitting performance via eliminating the negative effect of surface states (resulting in Fermi level pinning and recombination) at the metal–semiconductor interface, suppressing the recombination of current carriers, as well as maximizing the metal–semiconductor barrier height. This study provides new insight into a novel plasmonic nanocatalyst design by rational interface engineering and will be of benefit for a better understanding of manipulating the interfacial electronic properties between plasmonic nanocrystals and semiconductors for catalytic applications.

Graphical abstract: Plasmon-driven water splitting enhancement on plasmonic metal–insulator–semiconductor hetero-nanostructures: unraveling the crucial role of interfacial engineering

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Publication details

The article was received on 02 May 2018, accepted on 02 Jul 2018 and first published on 03 Jul 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8NR03557A
Citation: Nanoscale, 2018,10, 14290-14297
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    Plasmon-driven water splitting enhancement on plasmonic metal–insulator–semiconductor hetero-nanostructures: unraveling the crucial role of interfacial engineering

    C. Li, P. Wang, H. Li, M. Wang, J. Zhang, G. Qi and Y. Jin, Nanoscale, 2018, 10, 14290
    DOI: 10.1039/C8NR03557A

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