467551 Impact of Combining Metal Nanoparticle Catalysts and Semiconductor Photo-Electrodes on Photo-Catalytic Performance

Monday, November 14, 2016: 1:50 PM
Franciscan C (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Paul Hernley, Steven Chavez, Joseph Quinn and Suljo Linic, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Semiconductors have found significant utility in the field of photo-electrochemistry as excellent optical absorbers. Metal nanoparticles are typically loaded onto these surfaces to add catalytic function to the system. The addition of metal nanoparticles also changes the optical properties of these systems since metal nanoparticles strongly interact with light through interband transitions and plasmonic phenomena. For a semiconductor substrate that is a good absorber and has long charge carrier diffusion lengths, the interaction of light with metallic nanoparticles will result in a loss of optical efficiency.

In this contribution, we will discuss our work on developing strategies for combining semiconductors and metal nanoparticle catalysts to simultaneously improve the catalytic and optical efficiencies of a photo-electrochemical device. We will present the results of our experimental and theoretical efforts based on a model system consisting of planar silicon electrodes and platinum nanoparticles as composite photo-electrodes for the hydrogen evolution reaction.

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