Gold nanocage coupled single crystal TiO2 nanostructures for near-infrared water photolysis
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Gold (Au) nanocages were deposited on single crystal TiO2 columnar thin films and their effect on the photoelectrochemical performance for water oxidation was studied. The performance was compared to spherical Au nanoparticles of similar size (30 nm) deposited on the columns to investigate the shape effect. The performance of spherical Au nanoparticles with a 5 nm diameter was also measured as an indicator of the size effect. All Au-TiO2 thin films exhibited enhanced photocurrents compared to the pristine TiO2 thin film under visible and near-infrared light irradiation. In particular, the nanocage Au deposited TiO2 thin film exhibited the maximum photocurrent, approximately 8 times higher than that by the pristine TiO2 film. Photocurrent action spectra of the thin films confirmed the role of surface plasmon resonance in the performance enhancement caused by hot electron injection into the TiO2 conduction band. Light absorption was controlled in the 520–810 nm region by change of size and shape of the Au nanoparticles. The absorption range of the nanocages in the NIR region with high photocurrent makes them promising candidates for solar water-splitting.
KeywordsAerosol chemical vapor deposition Hot electron injection Surface plasmon resonance Visible and near infrared photocatalysis Water-splitting
This work is supported in part under the US-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy-Research (PACE-R) for the Solar Energy Research Institute for India and the United States (SERIIUS), funded jointly by the U.S. Department of Energy (Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, and Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Solar Energy Technology Program, under Subcontract DE-AC36-08GO28308 to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado) and the Government of India, through the Department of Science and Technology under Subcontract IUSSTF/JCERDC-SERIIUS/2012. Electron microscopy was performed at the Nano Research Facility (NRF) at Washington University in St. Louis, a member of the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN), supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. ECS-0335765.
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