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Metal Nanoshells for Plasmonically Enhanced Solar to Fuel Photocatalytic Conversion

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[Technical Report, Final Report]

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First thrust Gold-silver nanoshells GS-NSs that provide a tunable localized surface plasmon resonance LSPR were prepared for incorporation into a photocatalytic matrix to facilitate charge separation of photo-excited carriers. Zinc indium sulfide ZIS, a visible light active photocatalyst, was used as the photocatalytic matrix. In addition, a dielectric interlayer of silica between the GS-NSs and ZIS was used to provide an additional parameter to distinguish the enhancement mechanism. In an extensive study using ten different samples, we found that GS-NSZIS particles with an LSPR absorption at roughly 700 nm and a silica interlayer of roughly 17 nm generated a rate of hydrogen production 2.6 times higher than that of unmodified ZIS. Second thrust Tin oxide-coated gold-silver nanoshells were prepared as an alternative plasmonic enhancement system to the silicon oxide system described above. Tin oxide is an attractive material for photocatalytic reactions due to its exceptional photostability and good carrier mobility however, instead of blocking direct electron transfer, we anticipate this interlayer will modulate charge transfer from the metal to the semiconductor and vice versa. These new core-shell particles were sent to our collaborator, Prof. Tai-Chou Lee at NCU in Taiwan, for evaluation.


Subject Categories:

  • Physical Chemistry
  • Metallurgy and Metallography

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[A, Approved For Public Release]