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Strong Visible Light Absorption and Abundant Hotspots in Au-Decorated WO3 Nanobricks for Efficient SERS and Photocatalysis

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posted on 2021-10-18, 11:34 authored by Jing-Wen Zou, Zhi-Di Li, Hao-Sen Kang, Wen-Qin Zhao, Jing-Chuang Liu, You-Long Chen, Liang Ma, Hua-Yi Hou, Si-Jing Ding
Metal/semiconductor hybrids show potential application in fields of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) and photocatalysis due to their excellent light absorption, electric field, and charge-transfer properties. Herein, a WO3-Au metal/semiconductor hybrid, which was a WO3 nanobrick decorated with Au nanoparticles, was prepared via a facile hydrothermal method. The WO3-Au hybrids show excellent visible light absorption, strong plasmon coupling, high-performance SERS, and good photocatalytic activity. In particular, on sensing rhodamine B (RhB) under 532 nm excitation, bare WO3 nanobricks have a Raman enhancement factor of 2.0 × 106 and a limit of detection of 10–8 M due to the charger-transfer property and abundant oxygen vacancies. WO3-Au metal/semiconductor hybrids display a largely improved Raman enhancement factor compared to pure Au and WO3 components owing to the synergistic effect of electromagnetic enhancement and charge transfer. The Raman enhancement factor and limit of detection are further improved, reaching 5.3 × 108 and 10–12 M, respectively, on increasing the content of Au to 2.1 wt %, owing to the strong plasmon coupling between the Au nanoparticles. Additionally, the WO3-Au hybrids also exhibit excellent photocatalytic activity toward degradation of RhB under visible light irradiation. WO3-Au (2.1 wt %) possesses the fastest photocatalytic rate, which is 6.1 and 2.0 times that of pure WO3 nanobricks and commercial P25, respectively. The enhanced photocatalytic activity is attributed to the strong plasmon coupling and the efficient charge transfer between Au and WO3 nanobricks. The as-prepared materials show great potential in detecting and degrading pollutants in environmental treatment.

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