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A Novel Self-Assembly Strategy for the Fabrication of Nano-Hybrid Satellite Materials with Plasmonically Enhanced Catalytic Activity


The generation of hydrogen from water using light is currently one of the most promising alternative energy sources for humankind but faces significant barriers for large-scale applications due to the low efficiency of existing photo-catalysts. In this work we propose a new route to fabricate nano-hybrid materials able to deliver enhanced photo-catalytic hydrogen evolution, combining within the same nanostructure, a plasmonic antenna nanoparticle and semiconductor quantum dots (QDs). For each stage of our fabrication process we probed the chemical composition of the materials with nanometric spatial resolution, allowing us to demonstrate that the final product is composed of a silver nanoparticle (AgNP) plasmonic core, surrounded by satellite Pt decorated CdS QDs (CdS@Pt), separated by a spacer layer of SiO2 with well-controlled thickness. This new type of photoactive nanomaterial is capable of generating hydrogen when irradiated with visible light, displaying efficiencies 300% higher than the constituting photo-active components. This work may open new avenues for the development of cleaner and more efficient energy sources based on photo-activated hydrogen generation.

Funding source: EPSRC (grant number EP/N51004X/1) and the National Biofilms Innovation Centre (NBIC) which is an Innovation and Knowledge Centre funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (Award Number BB/R012415/1), Innovate UK and Hartree Centre.
Related subjects: Production & Supply Chain
Countries: Spain ; United Kingdom

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