H2 production by water splitting is hindered mainly by the lack of low-cost and efficient photocatalysts. Here we show that sub-nanometric silver clusters can catalyze the anisotropic growth of gold nanostructures by preferential adsorption at certain crystal planes of Au seeds, with the result that the final nanostructure can be tuned via the cluster/seed ratio. Such semiconducting Ag clusters are extremely stable and retain their electronic structure even after adsorption at the tips of Au nanorods, enabling various photocatalytic experiments, such as oxygen evolution from basic solutions. In the absence of electron scavengers, UV irradiation generates photoelectrons, which are stored within the nanorods, increasing their Au Fermi level up to the redox pinning limit at 0 V (RHE), where hydrogen evolution occurs with an estimated high efficiency of 10%. This illustrates the considerable potential of very small zerovalent, nonmetallic clusters as novel atomic-level photocatalysts.
|Numero di pagine||4|
|Rivista||Journal of the American Chemical Society|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2014|
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