Rational design of bimetallic photocatalysts based on plasmonically-derived hot carriers
Hot carriers generated by plasmonic excitations have recently opened up new avenues in photocatalysis. The transfer of these energetic carriers to adjacent molecules can promote chemical transformations that are important for hydrogen generation by water splitting, CO2 reduction and degradation of organic pollutants. Here, we have developed and optimised a plasmonic hot-carrier catalytic system based on silica nanoparticles decorated with plasmonic gold nanoparticles as a source of hot carriers, equipped with platinum nanoclusters as co-catalyst for the enhancement of hot-carrier extraction. The latter plays a triple role by providing: a surface favourable for molecular adsorption; hot-electron generation near the nanoclusters due to field enhancement effects and electron momentum relaxation facilitating the electron transfer across the metal surface, exactly where molecules are adsorbed. The combination of plasmonic and catalytic metals in nano-heterostructured devices provides a new platform for photocatalytic processes and is of significant interest for future solar-based clean technologies.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Editor’s Choice: Single-atom and nanocluster catalysis