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Au-SnS Hetero Nanostructures: Size of Au Matters

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journal contribution
posted on 23.12.2014, 00:00 by Biplab K. Patra, Amit K. Guria, Anirban Dutta, Arnab Shit, Narayan Pradhan
In nanoscale, with size variation, Au shows different optical behaviors. For the small size clusters (sub-5 nm), it behaves more like semiconductors having sp and d band electronic energy levels splitting and also do not show the characteristic plasmon. However, for larger size particles (>5 nm), it shows the plasmonic absorption. Considering these two structures of Au0, we report here their coupling with a low bandgap semiconductor SnS and study the difference in their formation chemistry and materials’ properties. Following a common synthetic approach in which a smaller size SnS cube and tetrahedron shapes result in Au cluster decorated Au-SnS heterostructures, larger size SnS cubes form coupled Au-SnS nanostructures. Contrastingly, the nonplasmonic Au0 cluster-SnS hinders the photocatalytic activity, whereas the plasmonic coupled Au-SnS enhances the catalytic activity toward reduction of organic dye methylene blue. However, both types of heterostructures show enhanced photocurrent as well as photoresponse activities. Details of the chemistry of formation, epitaxy at the junction, and change in the materials’ properties are studied and reported here in this article.