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Interfacial Structure-Modulated Plasmon-Induced Water Oxidation on Strontium Titanate

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posted on 2020-06-11, 20:31 authored by Xu Shi, Xiaowei Li, Takahiro Toda, Tomoya Oshikiri, Kosei Ueno, Kentaro Suzuki, Kei Murakoshi, Hiroaki Misawa
Plasmon-induced carrier transfer at metallic nanoparticle/semiconductor heterojunctions has received great attention because of its tremendous potential in applications, such as photocatalysis and photoelectric and energy conversion. The interfacial structure of the heterojunction is known to play an important role in charge transfer as well as the subsequent chemical reactions. Here, we studied the Au nanoparticle (Au-NP)-loaded (100)-, (110)-, and (111)-oriented single-crystalline strontium titanate (STO) as a model to investigate the effects of interfacial structure on the plasmon-induced charge separation between the metallic nanoparticles and semiconductors. Via photoelectrochemical characterizations, we found that the efficiency of the plasmon-induced water oxidation reaction on STO(100) is more than 1.4 times higher than that on the other two orientation facets. This enhancement was demonstrated to stem from the high oxidation ability of plasmon-induced holes captured in the surface states. Furthermore, the molecular processes of water oxidation were investigated by monitoring the surface oxidation status of Au-NP/STO as intermediates of plasmon-induced water oxidation using in situ electrochemical surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy. The onset potential of Au–O vibrations on Au-NP/STO(100) was determined to be 0.4 V more negative than that of Au-NP/STO(110), further confirming the higher oxidation ability of the plasmon-induced holes. Our observation provides an opportunity to efficiently modulate plasmon-excited hot-carrier reaction processes for photochemical applications through interfacial engineering.

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