Converting solar energy to chemical energy in the form of hydrogen via water splitting is one of the promising strategies to solve the global energy crisis. Hematite, a traditional semiconducting oxide photoelectrode, can only absorb UV and visible parts of the solar spectrum, losing 40% infrared energy. In this paper, we report a novel plasmonic enhanced water splitting photoanode based on hematite-lanthanide upconversion nanocomposites to harvest lost photons below the bandgap of hematite. NaYF4:Er, Yb upconversion nanoparticles can upconvert photons from 980 nm to 510 nm–570 nm within the bandgap of hematite. More importantly, a gold nanodisk array with a plasmonic peak centered ∼1000 nm can further boost the photocurrent by 93-fold. It is demonstrated that the excitation process of lanthanide upconversion nanoparticles can be significantly enhanced by plasmonic nanostructures and can thus improve the water oxidation activity via plasmonic enhanced upconversion and hot electron injection, respectively. This new promising strategy will pave the way for plasmonic enhanced lost photon harvesting for applications in solar energy conversion.
Harvesting the lost photon by plasmonic enhanced hematite-upconversion nanocomposite for water splitting
Note: This paper is part of the JCP Special Topic on Photocatalysis and Photoelectrochemistry.
Qianfan Jiang, Xiangyu Xie, D. Jason Riley, Fang Xie; Harvesting the lost photon by plasmonic enhanced hematite-upconversion nanocomposite for water splitting. J. Chem. Phys. 7 July 2020; 153 (1): 011102. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0013060
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