Fundamental study of plasmonic-enhanced photocatalysis through model systems of noble metals and TiO2 fabricated using atomic layer deposition

01 January 2014 → 31 December 2019
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Humanities
    • Other philosophy, ethics and religious studies not elsewhere classified
    • Other humanities and the arts
noble metals TiO2 fabricated plasmonic-enhanced photocatalysis
Project description

Photocatalysis plays an important role in air and water pollution abatement and in solar to chemical energy conversion in general. TiO2 semiconductor nanopowder is the state- f-the-art photocatalyst but its wide bandgap limits its photocatalytic activity to the UV part of the solar spectrum. Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) obtained using noble metal antennae on the surface of the semiconductor nanoparticle is a promising way to enhance the photocatalytic efficiency at longer wavelengths. While the beneficial influence of SPR on photocatalytic activity has been demonstrated, the mechanism of this activity enhancement is still poorly understood and is a matter of debate in literature. In this project model plasmonic systems will be synthesized, photocatalytically evaluated and modeled to disentangle the different contributions to SPR enhancement. Model systems will be fabricated on flat surfaces (2D) and ordered mesoporous matrices (3D) in which TiO2 and noble metal particles will be introduced via atomic layer deposition. The SPR phenomenon has been demonstrated mainly on flat model surfaces of limited relevance to practical applications. To make SPR enhanced photocatalysis more accessible to lab scale photocatalytic experiments, in this project metal oxides and plasmonic metal nanostructures will be designed in 3D porous materials suitable for photocatalytic reactors.