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Bio-inspired plasmonic nanoarchitectured hybrid system towards enhanced far red-to-near infrared solar photocatalysis

Yan, Runyu, Chen, Min, Zhou, Han, Liu, Tian, Tang, Xingwei, Zhang, Ke, Zhu, Hanxing ORCID:, Ye, Jinhua, Zhang, Di and Fan, Tongxiang 2016. Bio-inspired plasmonic nanoarchitectured hybrid system towards enhanced far red-to-near infrared solar photocatalysis. Scientific Reports 6 , 20001. 10.1038/srep20001

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Solar conversion to fuels or to electricity in semiconductors using far red-to-near infrared (NIR) light, which accounts for about 40% of solar energy, is highly significant. One main challenge is the development of novel strategies for activity promotion and new basic mechanisms for NIR response. Mother Nature has evolved to smartly capture far red-to-NIR light via their intelligent systems due to unique micro/nanoarchitectures, thus motivating us for biomimetic design. Here we report the first demonstration of a new strategy, based on adopting nature’s far red-to-NIR responsive architectures for an efficient bio-inspired photocatalytic system. The system is constructed by controlled assembly of light-harvesting plasmonic nanoantennas onto a typical photocatalytic unit with butterfly wings’ 3D micro/nanoarchitectures. Experiments and finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) simulations demonstrate the structural effects on obvious far red-to-NIR photocatalysis enhancement, which originates from (1) Enhancing far red-to-NIR (700~1200 nm) harvesting, up to 25%. (2) Enhancing electric-field amplitude of localized surface plasmon (LSPs) to more than 3.5 times than that of the non-structured one, which promotes the rate of electron-hole pair formation, thus substantially reinforcing photocatalysis. This proof-of-concept study provides a new methodology for NIR photocatalysis and would potentially guide future conceptually new NIR responsive system designs.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Subjects: T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Additional Information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 2045-2322
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 22 December 2015
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 21:27

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