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J Phys Condens Matter. 2016 Jun 29;28(25):254002. doi: 10.1088/0953-8984/28/25/254002. Epub 2016 May 11.

The effect of hot electrons and surface plasmons on heterogeneous catalysis.

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Center for Nanomaterials and Chemical Reactions, Institute for Basic Science, Daejeon 305-701, Korea. Graduate School of EEWS, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Daejeon 305-701, Korea.


Hot electrons and surface-plasmon-driven chemistry are amongst the most actively studied research subjects because they are deeply associated with energy dissipation and the conversion processes at the surface and interfaces, which are still open questions and key issues in the surface science community. In this topical review, we give an overview of the concept of hot electrons or surface-plasmon-mediated hot electrons generated under various structural schemes (i.e. metals, metal-semiconductor, and metal-insulator-metal) and their role affecting catalytic activity in chemical reactions. We highlight recent studies on the relation between hot electrons and catalytic activity on metallic surfaces. We discuss possible mechanisms for how hot electrons participate in chemical reactions. We also introduce controlled chemistry to describe specific pathways for selectivity control in catalysis on metal nanoparticles.

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