Special Issue "Plasmonic Photocatalysts"

A special issue of Catalysts (ISSN 2073-4344). This special issue belongs to the section "Photocatalysis".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Ewa Kowalska
Website
Guest Editor
Institute for Catalysis (ICAT), Hokkaido University
Interests: heterogeneous catalysis; photocatalysis; advanced oxidation technologies (AOTs); plasmonic photocatalyst; noble metals; antimicrobial properties; solar energy; solar fuel; faceted nanoparticles
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the last decade, plasmonic properties of noble metals, i.e., absorption of visible light due to plasmon resonance, have been used to activate wide band-gap semiconductors. Although plasmonic properties of noble metals were observed more than a century ago, scientifically explained ca. 30 years ago, and since then commercially used in many fields, the examination of their application for photocatalysis started a few years ago. Despite the novelty of plasmonic photocatalysis, many studies have already been performed to improve photocatalytic activity and stability, and to clarify the mechanism under irradiation with visible light.

Although desirable photoabsorption properties of plasmonic photocatalysts can be easily achieved by preparation of nanoparticles of different sizes and shapes, their photocatalytic activities (under visible light irradiation) are still low and must be improved for commercial usage. Therefore, various studies have been performed to get stable and highly active materials. Moreover, the mechanism of plasmonic photocatalysis has not been clarified yet, i.e., charge versus energy transfer. It is thought that the mechanism depends directly on the morphology of plasmonic photocatalysts and reaction conditions.

Despite the novelty and unclear mechanism, plasmonic photocatalysts have already proved to be highly efficient for environmental purification (water and wastewater treatment, air purification and self-cleaning surfaces for decomposition of both organic compounds and microorganisms), solar energy conversion (photocurrent generation and water splitting) and synthesis of organic compounds. Therefore, it is believed that plasmonic photocatalysts have the potential to be efficient solar photocatalysts for commercial application.

This Special Issue of Catalysts will be a collaborative effort to combine current research on plasmonic photocatalysis. Contributions on photocatalyst preparation and characterization, reaction mechanism, theoretical modeling and applications are all welcome.

Prof. Dr. Ewa Kowalska
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.ynsqex.icu by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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Keywords

  • Plasmonic photocatalysis
  • Photocatalyst fabrication
  • Simulation and modeling of plasmon resonance
  • Mechanism study
  • Environmental purification
  • Energy conversion
  • Water splitting
  • New techniques of photocatalyst characterization
  • Morphology-governed activity
  • Removal of microbiological pollutants
  • Water/wastewater treatment
  • Air treatment
  • Self-cleaning surfaces
  • Theoretical study

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Defective TiO2 Core-Shell Magnetic Photocatalyst Modified with Plasmonic Nanoparticles for Visible Light-Induced Photocatalytic Activity
Catalysts 2020, 10(6), 672; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal10060672 - 15 Jun 2020
Abstract
In the presented work, for the first time, the metal-modified defective titanium(IV) oxide nanoparticles with well-defined titanium vacancies, was successfully obtained. Introducing platinum and copper nanoparticles (NPs) as surface modifiers of defective d-TiO2 significantly increased the photocatalytic activity in both UV-Vis and [...] Read more.
In the presented work, for the first time, the metal-modified defective titanium(IV) oxide nanoparticles with well-defined titanium vacancies, was successfully obtained. Introducing platinum and copper nanoparticles (NPs) as surface modifiers of defective d-TiO2 significantly increased the photocatalytic activity in both UV-Vis and Vis light ranges. Moreover, metal NPs deposition on the magnetic core allowed for the effective separation and reuse of the nanometer-sized photocatalyst from the suspension after the treatment process. The obtained Fe3O4@SiO2/d-TiO2-Pt/Cu photocatalysts were characterized by X-ray diffractometry (XRD) and specific surface area (BET) measurements, UV-Vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DR-UV/Vis), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Further, the mechanism of phenol degradation and the role of four oxidative species (h+, e, OH, and O2) in the studied photocatalytic process were investigated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasmonic Photocatalysts)
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Open AccessArticle
Synthesis of Au–Ag Alloy Nanoparticle-Incorporated AgBr Crystals
Catalysts 2019, 9(9), 745; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal9090745 - 03 Sep 2019
Abstract
Nanoscale composites consisting of silver and silver halide (Ag–AgX, X = Cl, Br, I) have attracted much attention as a novel type of visible-light photocatalyst (the so-called plasmonic photocatalysts), for solar-to-chemical transformations. Support-free Au–Ag alloy nanoparticle-incorporated AgBr crystals (Au–[email protected]) were synthesized by a [...] Read more.
Nanoscale composites consisting of silver and silver halide (Ag–AgX, X = Cl, Br, I) have attracted much attention as a novel type of visible-light photocatalyst (the so-called plasmonic photocatalysts), for solar-to-chemical transformations. Support-free Au–Ag alloy nanoparticle-incorporated AgBr crystals (Au–[email protected]) were synthesized by a photochemical method. At the initial step, Au ion-doped AgBr particles were prepared by adding an aqueous solution of AgNO3 to a mixed aqueous solution of KBr and HAuBr4. At the next step, UV-light illumination (λ = 365 nm) of a methanol suspension of the resulting solids yielded Au–Ag alloy nanoparticles with a mean size of approximately 5 nm in the micrometer-sized AgBr crystals. The mole percent of Au to all the Ag in Au–[email protected] was controlled below < 0.16 mol% by the HAuBr4 concentration in the first step. Finite-difference time-domain calculations indicated that the local electric field enhancement factor for the alloy nanoparticle drastically decreases with an increase in the Au content. Also, the peak of the localized surface plasmon resonance shifts towards longer wavelengths with increasing Au content. Au–[email protected] is a highly promising plasmonic photocatalyst for sunlight-driven chemical transformations due to the compatibility of the high local electric field enhancement and sunlight harvesting efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasmonic Photocatalysts)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Review of Experimental Setups for Plasmonic Photocatalytic Reactions
Catalysts 2020, 10(1), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal10010046 - 31 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Plasmonic photocatalytic reactions have been substantially developed. However, the mechanism underlying the enhancement of such reactions is confusing in relevant studies. The plasmonic enhancements of photocatalytic reactions are hard to identify by processing chemically or physically. This review discusses the noteworthy experimental setups [...] Read more.
Plasmonic photocatalytic reactions have been substantially developed. However, the mechanism underlying the enhancement of such reactions is confusing in relevant studies. The plasmonic enhancements of photocatalytic reactions are hard to identify by processing chemically or physically. This review discusses the noteworthy experimental setups or designs for reactors that process various energy transformation paths for enhancing plasmonic photocatalytic reactions. Specially designed experimental setups can help characterize near-field optical responses in inducing plasmons and transformation of light energy. Electrochemical measurements, dark-field imaging, spectral measurements, and matched coupling of wavevectors lead to further understanding of the mechanism underlying plasmonic enhancement. The discussions herein can provide valuable ideas for advanced future studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasmonic Photocatalysts)
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Open AccessReview
Synthesis of Plasmonic Photocatalysts for Water Splitting
Catalysts 2019, 9(12), 982; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal9120982 - 22 Nov 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Production of H2, O2, and some useful chemicals by solar water splitting is widely expected to be one of the ultimate technologies in solving energy and environmental problems worldwide. Plasmonic enhancement of photocatalytic water splitting is attracting much attention. [...] Read more.
Production of H2, O2, and some useful chemicals by solar water splitting is widely expected to be one of the ultimate technologies in solving energy and environmental problems worldwide. Plasmonic enhancement of photocatalytic water splitting is attracting much attention. However, the enhancement factors reported so far are not as high as expected. Hence, further investigation of the plasmonic photocatalysts for water splitting is now needed. In this paper, recent work demonstrating plasmonic photocatalytic water splitting is reviewed. Particular emphasis is given to the fabrication process and the morphological features of the plasmonic photocatalysts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasmonic Photocatalysts)
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Open AccessReview
Photocatalytic Reversible Reactions Driven by Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance
Catalysts 2019, 9(2), 193; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal9020193 - 20 Feb 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
In this study, we review photocatalytic reversible surface catalytic reactions driven by localized surface plasmon resonance. Firstly, we briefly introduce the synthesis of 4,4′-dimercaptoazobenzene (DMAB) from 4-nitrobenzenethiol (4NBT) using surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) technology. Furthermore, we study the photosynthetic and degradation processes of [...] Read more.
In this study, we review photocatalytic reversible surface catalytic reactions driven by localized surface plasmon resonance. Firstly, we briefly introduce the synthesis of 4,4′-dimercaptoazobenzene (DMAB) from 4-nitrobenzenethiol (4NBT) using surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) technology. Furthermore, we study the photosynthetic and degradation processes of 4NBT to DMAB reduction, as well as factors associated with them, such as laser wavelength, reaction time, substrate, and pH. Last but not least, we reveal the competitive relationship between photosynthetic and degradation pathways for this reduction reaction by SERS technology on the substrate of Au film over a nanosphere. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasmonic Photocatalysts)
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Open AccessReview
Plasmonic Photocatalysts Monitored by Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy
Catalysts 2019, 9(2), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal9020109 - 22 Jan 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
In this review, we first prove the resonance dissociation process by using time-dependent measurements of tip-enhanced resonance Raman spectroscopy (TERRS) under high vacuum conditions. Second, we show how to use thermal electrons to dissociate Malachite Green (MG) and the hot electrons in the [...] Read more.
In this review, we first prove the resonance dissociation process by using time-dependent measurements of tip-enhanced resonance Raman spectroscopy (TERRS) under high vacuum conditions. Second, we show how to use thermal electrons to dissociate Malachite Green (MG) and the hot electrons in the nanogap of the high vacuum tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS) device that are generated by plasma decay. Malachite Green is excited by resonance and adsorbed on the Ag and Au surfaces. Finally, we describe real-world and real-time observations of plasmon-induced general chemical reactions of individual molecules. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasmonic Photocatalysts)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Recent advance in the design and mechanistic study of plasmonic photocatalysts
Authors: Hyeon Ho Shin, Yung Doug Suh, Dong-Kwon Lim.
Abstract: Plasmonic nanostructures can be employed for performing photocatalytic reactions with visible-light illumination involving two different possible mechanisms, namely, the near-field enhancement and/or direct hot-electron transfer to the conduction band of an active catalyst. In this regard, we will introduce the basic concept of plasmonic nanomaterial-based photocatalysts for various chemical reactions developed in recent 10 years. We will discuss the key progress in the design and mechanistic understandings of plasmonic nanomaterial-based photocatalysts. The benefit, shortcoming points and perspective are also will be discussed in detail.

Title: TiO2/CuxO photocatalysis by Schottky barriers vs surface plasmon resonance showing a dual behavior when activated by solar or visible light: Critical issues
Authors: Sami Rtimia, Victor Nadtochenkob, Inessa Kmehl and John Kiwia*
Affiliations: a Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, EPFL-SB-ISIC-GPAO, Station 6, CH-1015, Lausanne, Switzerland,
b Institute of Problems of Chemical Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, 142432, Chernogolovka Russia,
cInstitute of Molecular Genetics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Kurchatov sq.2, 123182, Moscow, Russia
Abstract: This mini-review addresses the different reactivity and mechanism on TiO2/CuxO catalytic surfaces when irradiated by solar light or by visible light since these leads to reaction proceeding through a Schottky type mechanism under solar light or by a surface plasmon resonance mechanism where the CuxO is activated by visible light and transfer its charge by an interfacial charge transfer (IFCT) to the TiO2. Evidence is presented for the TiO2 films reacting under light as semiconductors in these double double-oxide films. The CuxO seems not only to extend the films absorption in the visible region of TiO2 but added in ppb/ppm amounts accelerate drastically bacterial degradation. TiO2/CuxO films have also been reported to accelerate non-biodegradable pollutant degradation in solution and finally these films play an active role during the photo-activated self-cleaning induced by uniform, adhesive and mechanically resistant TiO2/CuxO sputtered films. The doping or decoration of by CuxO of semiconductor base films in the dark or under light lead to a noticeable increase in the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). These ROS-radicals present highly oxidation potential improving the degradation of organic compounds as reported in the last decade. This issue is described/discussed in the present review. Furthermore, CuxO-sputtered on double oxide substrates (TiO2/ZrO2) have been reported to present a higher efficiency in ecological relevant processes compared to TiO2/CuxO, although the role of the double-oxide substrate is not fully understood at the present time. The power applied on the Cu-target during the sputtering process on was observed to play a significant role on the bacterial inactivating kinetics.
Keywords: sputtered films, mechanistic issues, Schottky barriers, surface plasmon resonance, bacterial degradation, emerging pollutants, self-cleaning surfacess, ROS

Title: Review on reactors to enhance the plasmonic photocatalytic reactions
Authors: Hung Ji Huang
Abstract: The plasmonic photocatalytic reactions are important on the development of photocatalytic reactions with metallic nanomaterials in the recent decade. This report wants to highlight the special designs on the reactors that process and especially enhance the plasmonic photocatalytic reactions. Various energy transformation path of the plasmonic photocatalytic reactions will be presented from light-to-plasmon interactions. The identification methods in the reference works will also be categorized to provide information for trigging interesting ideas in the future works.

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