Plasmon resonant enhancement of carbon monoxide catalysis

Wei Hsuan Hung, Mehmet Aykol, David Valley, Wenbo Hou, Stephen B. Cronin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

142 Scopus citations


Irradiating gold nanoparticles at their plasmon resonance frequency creates immense plasmonic charge and high temperatures, which can be used to drive catalytic reactions. By integrating strongly plasmonic nanoparticles with strongly catalytic metal oxides, significant enhancements in the catalytic activity can be achieved. Here, we study the plasmonically driven catalytic conversion of CO to CO2 by irradiating Au nanoparticle/Fe 2O3 composites. The reaction rate of this composite greatly exceeds that of the Au nanoparticles or Fe2O3 alone, indicating that this reaction is not driven solely by the thermal (plasmonic) heating of the gold nanoparticles but relies intimately on the interaction of these two materials. A comparison of the plasmonically driven catalytic reaction rate with that obtained under uniform heating shows an enhancement of at least 2 orders of magnitude.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1314-1318
Number of pages5
JournalNano Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - 14 Apr 2010


  • Catalysis
  • Nanoparticle
  • Oxidation
  • Plasmon
  • Plasmonic


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