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Nanostructured Gold/Bismutite Hybrid Heterocatalysts for Plasmon-Enhanced Photosynthesis of Ammonia

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journal contribution
posted on 25.09.2017, 00:00 authored by Changlong Xiao, Hong Hu, Xinyi Zhang, Douglas R. MacFarlane
Nitrogen (N2) reduction to produce ammonia (NH3) is one of the most important chemical processes globally. Nowadays, the Haber–Bosch process is the main industrial procedure for artificial N2 fixation, which requires extremely harsh synthetic conditions and large energy consumption resulting in massive emission of greenhouse gas. Hence, an alternative photosynthesis of NH3 under mild condition, which is sustainable and less energy consuming, would be highly desirable. In this study, Au nanoparticles modified (BiO)2CO3 nanodisks were fabricated through a facile hydrothermal method followed by chemical bath deposition and investigated for the photocatalytic reduction of N2 in a pure water system at atmospheric pressure and room temperature. The induction of Au nanoparticles can dramatically enhance the light trapping as well as charge separation in the Au/(BiO)2CO3 hybrid, thereby promoting overall energy conversion efficiency. The synergetic effect of the nanostructured gold/bismutite hybrid results in high catalytic activity and exhibits high performance for artificial photosynthesis of ammonia.