An aligned octahedral core in a nanocage: synthesis, plasmonic, and catalytic properties†
Plasmonic metal nanostructures with complex morphologies provide an important route to tunable optical responses and local electric field enhancement at the nanoscale for a variety of applications including sensing, imaging, and catalysis. Here we report a high-concentration synthesis of gold core–cage nanoparticles with a tethered and structurally aligned octahedral core and examine their plasmonic and catalytic properties. The obtained nanostructures exhibit a double band extinction in the visible-near infrared range and a large area electric field enhancement due to the unique structural features, as demonstrated using finite difference time domain (FDTD) simulations and confirmed experimentally using surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) tests. In addition, the obtained structures had a photoelectrochemical response useful for catalyzing the CO2 electroreduction reaction. Our work demonstrates the next generation of complex plasmonic nanostructures attainable via bottom-up synthesis and offers a variety of potential applications ranging from sensing to catalysis.