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Unidirectional/Bidirectional Electron Transfer at the Au/TiO2 Interface Operando Tracked by SERS Spectra from Au and TiO2

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journal contribution
posted on 30.03.2021, 16:34 by Xinlu Zheng, Xuefeng Yan, Jiayu Ma, Xinyun Yao, Jinlong Zhang, Lingzhi Wang
Although it is well-known that the size can influence the surface plasmon resonance property of coinage metals and the electronic state of the Mott–Schottky junction formed at the metal/semiconductor interface, insights into how the size can be exploited to optimize the photocatalytic activity and selectivity of metal/semiconductor composites are lacking. Here we utilize operando SERS spectroscopy to identify the size effect on the electron-transfer dynamics and the direction at the Au/TiO2 interface. This effect was characterized by the photocatalytic reduction sites of p-nitrothiophenol, which were self-tracked with the SERS spectra from Au nanoparticle and inverse-opal structured TiO2, respectively. The size-dependent unidirectional/bidirectional transfer of photoinduced electrons at the Au/TiO2 interface was revealed by operando SERS spectroscopy, which enables the rational tuning of the reduction selectivity.