Plasmon Inducing Effects for Enhanced Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting: X-ray Absorption Approach to Electronic Structures

Department of Chemistry, National Taiwan University, Taipei 106, Taiwan.
ACS Nano (Impact Factor: 12.88). 07/2012; 6(8):7362-72. DOI: 10.1021/nn3024877
Source: PubMed


Artificial photosynthesis using semiconductors has been investigated for more than three decades for the purpose of transferring solar energy into chemical fuels. Numerous studies have revealed that the introduction of plasmonic materials into photochemical reaction can substantially enhance the photo response to the solar splitting of water. Until recently, few systematic studies have provided clear evidence concerning how plasmon excitation and which factor dominates the solar splitting of water in photovoltaic devices. This work demonstrates the effects of plasmons upon an Au nanostructure-ZnO nanorods array as a photoanode. Several strategies have been successfully adopted to reveal the mutually independent contributions of various plasmonic effects under solar irradiation. These have clarified that the coupling of hot electrons that are formed by plasmons and the electromagnetic field can effectively increase the probability of a photochemical reaction in the splitting of water. These findings support a new approach to investigating localized plasmon-induced effects and charge separation in photoelectrochemical processes, and solar water splitting was used herein as platform to explore mechanisms of enhancement of surface plasmon resonance.

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Available from: Din Ping Tsai, Nov 11, 2014
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