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Photoelectrochemical Behavior of Self-Assembled Ag/Co Plasmonic Nanostructures Capped with TiO2

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posted on 24.12.2015, 16:07 by Anri Watanabe, Yuki Kotake, Yoshiomi Kamata, Akira Chikamatsu, Kosei Ueno, Hiroaki Misawa, Tetsuya Hasegawa
The use of localized surface plasmon resonance induced by Ag nanostructures is a promising way for high-efficiency photoelectric conversion. In plasmonic photoelectric conversion devices, however, the chemical instability of Ag in ambient atmosphere and its immediate deterioration have been a critical issue. Here, we propose a Ag–Co nanostructure array embedded in a TiO2 matrix as a plasmonic resonator that ensures long-term stability. We also developed an electrochemical process to remove surface Co nanoclusters protecting fresh Ag from exposure to air. This enabled us to “unseal” Ag at the desired time. Furthermore, we confirmed photoelectric conversion using Ag–Co–TiO2 nanocomposite films in contact with solution; the photoelectric conversion was substantially enhanced by the plasmon resonance of the Ag nanorods. The Ag nanostructures sealed in a TiO2 matrix are expected to be used in other application fields, such as catalytisis and sensing, in which a fresh Ag surface is needed.