Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol.135, No.15, 5588-5601, 2013
Plasmonic Harvesting of Light Energy for Suzuki Coupling Reactions
The efficient use of solar energy has received wide interest due to increasing energy and environmental concerns. A potential means in chemistry is sunlight-driven catalytic reactions. We report here on the direct harvesting of visible-to-near-infrared light for chemical reactions by use of plasmonic Au-Pd nanostructures. The intimate integration of plasmonic Au nanorods with catalytic Pd nanoparticles through seeded growth enabled efficient light harvesting for catalytic reactions on the nanostructures. Upon plasmon excitation, catalytic reactions were induced and accelerated through both plasmonic photocatalysis and photothermal conversion. Under the illumination of an 809 nm laser at 1.68 W, the yield of the Suzuki coupling reaction was similar to 2 times that obtained when the reaction was thermally heated to the same temperature. Moreover, the yield was also similar to 2 times that obtained from Au-TiOx-Pd nanostructures under the same laser illumination, where a 25-nm-thick TiOx shell was introduced to prevent the photocatalysis process. This is a more direct comparison between the effect of joint plasmonic photocatalysis and photothermal conversion with that of sole photothermal conversion. The contribution of plasmonic photocatalysis became larger when the laser illumination was at the plasmon resonance wavelength. It increased when the power of the incident laser at the plasmon resonance was raised. Differently sized Au-Pd nanostructures were further designed and mixed together to make the mixture light-responsive over the visible to near-infrared region. In the presence of the mixture, the reactions were completed within 2 h under sunlight, while almost no reactions occurred in the dark.