Plasmonic Au nanoclusters dispersed in nitrogen-doped graphene as a robust photocatalyst for light-to-hydrogen conversion

Dung Van Dao, Luis A. Cipriano, Giovanni Di Liberto, Thuy T.D. Nguyen, Sang Woo Ki, Hoki Son, Gyu Cheol Kim, Kang Hyun Lee, Jin Kyu Yang, Yeon Tae Yu, Gianfranco Pacchioni, In Hwan Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Supported plasmonic Au nanoclusters (NCs) consisting of a few tens of atoms can potentially offer great advantages for the light-driven hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). Here, we report on the synthesis of well-dispersed and stable plasmonic Au NCs of 0.5-1.0 nm size on nitrogen-doped high surface area graphene (N-Gr)viafreeze-drying and pyrolyzing in argon. The Au NCs/N-Gr photocatalyst exhibits under visible-light an impressive HER achievement (3.16 μmol mgcat−1h−1) compared to Au single atoms/N-Gr (2.06 μmol mgcat−1h−1) and Au nanoparticles (20 nm size)/N-Gr (0.92 μmol mgcat−1h−1), with a maximum apparent quantum yield of 14.30%. These performances are synergistically attributed to two effects: (a) the strong surface plasmon resonance stimulated by light absorption and transferred near the surface of Au NCs, where the N-Gr conductive support can prolong the plasmon-produced hot electrons and direct the light-to-hydrogen conversion; (b) a high catalytic efficiency of Au NCs/N-Gr nanocomposites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22810-22819
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry A
Volume9
Issue number40
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Oct 28

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (MSIT) (NRF-2020R1A2B5B03001603, 2020R1A2C1014498, 2021R1A2C2008447). L. A. C., G. D. L. and G. P. acknowledge the nancial support from the Italian Ministry of University and Research (MIUR) through the PRIN Project 20179337R7, and the grant Dipartimenti di Eccellenza-2017 “Materials for Energy”. Access to the CINECA supercomputing resources (Italy) was granted via ISCRAB.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (MSIT) (NRF-2020R1A2B5B03001603, 2020R1A2C1014498, 2021R1A2C2008447). L. A. C., G. D. L. and G. P. acknowledge the financial support from the Italian Ministry of University and Research (MIUR) through the PRIN Project 20179337R7, and the grant Dipartimenti di Eccellenza-2017 ?Materials for Energy?. Access to the CINECA supercomputing resources (Italy) was grantedviaISCRAB.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Royal Society of Chemistry 2021.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Materials Science

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