Plasmon resonant enhancement of photocatalytic solar fuel production

Wenbo Hou, Zuwei Liu, Wayne Hsuan, Prathamesh Pavaskar, Stephen B. Cronin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We have recently demonstrated plasmonic enhancement of several photochemical processes (water splitting, CH4 formation from CO 2, methyl orange decomposition, and CO oxidation) by integrating strongly plasmonic metal nanostructures with strongly catalytic metal oxide semiconductors. Irradiating these catalysts with visible light near the plasmon resonance frequency generates intense electric fields and immense plasmonic charge, which drive these photocatalytic processes at an accelerated rate. Enhancement factors up to 66X have been observed under visible light illumination, while, under ultraviolet radiation, we observe a 4-fold reduction in the photocatalytic activity. Finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) simulations indicate that the enhanced photocatalytic activity in the visible range is due to the local electric field enhancement near the TiO2 surface, rather than the direct transfer of charge between the two materials. These simulation results also indicate that enhancement factors many times larger than this can be achieved if the geometry of the plasmonic nanoparticles can be optimized.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationState-of-the-Art Program on Compound Semiconductors 53, SOTAPOCS 53
PublisherElectrochemical Society Inc.
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781607682608
ISBN (Print)9781566779067
StatePublished - 2011
EventState-of-the-Art Program on Compound Semiconductors 53, SOTAPOCS 53 - 220th ECS Meeting - Boston, MA, United States
Duration: 9 Oct 201114 Oct 2011

Publication series

NameECS Transactions
ISSN (Print)1938-5862
ISSN (Electronic)1938-6737


ConferenceState-of-the-Art Program on Compound Semiconductors 53, SOTAPOCS 53 - 220th ECS Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBoston, MA


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