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J Am Chem Soc. 2016 Jul 27;138(29):9128-36. doi: 10.1021/jacs.6b05190. Epub 2016 Jul 14.

Promoting Active Species Generation by Plasmon-Induced Hot-Electron Excitation for Efficient Electrocatalytic Oxygen Evolution.

Liu G1,2, Li P2, Zhao G2, Wang X3,4, Kong J5, Liu H2, Zhang H2, Chang K2, Meng X2, Kako T2, Ye J1,2,3,4.

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Graduate School of Chemical Science and Engineering, Hokkaido University , Sapporo 060-8628, Japan.
International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics (WPI-MANA), National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) , Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0044, Japan.
TU-NIMS Joint Research Center, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Tianjin University , Tianjin 300072, China.
Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemical Science and Engineering (Tianjin), Tianjin 300072, China.
Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Materials Chemistry and Physics, Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter, Chinese Academy of Sciences , Fuzhou 350002, China.


Water splitting represents a promising technology for renewable energy conversion and storage, but it is greatly hindered by the kinetically sluggish oxygen evolution reaction (OER). Here, using Au-nanoparticle-decorated Ni(OH)2 nanosheets [Ni(OH)2-Au] as catalysts, we demonstrate that the photon-induced surface plasmon resonance (SPR) excitation on Au nanoparticles could significantly activate the OER catalysis, specifically achieving a more than 4-fold enhanced activity and meanwhile affording a markedly decreased overpotential of 270 mV at the current density of 10 mA cm(-2) and a small Tafel slope of 35 mV dec(-1) (no iR-correction), which is much better than those of the benchmark IrO2 and RuO2, as well as most Ni-based OER catalysts reported to date. The synergy of the enhanced generation of Ni(III/IV) active species and the improved charge transfer, both induced by hot-electron excitation on Au nanoparticles, is proposed to account for such a markedly increased activity. The SPR-enhanced OER catalysis could also be observed over cobalt oxide (CoO)-Au and iron oxy-hydroxide (FeOOH)-Au catalysts, suggesting the generality of this strategy. These findings highlight the possibility of activating OER catalysis by plasmonic excitation and could open new avenues toward the design of more-energy-efficient catalytic water oxidation systems with the assistance of light energy.


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