School of Chemistry - Research Publications

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    Large-Area Nanofabrication of Partially Embedded Nanostructures for Enhanced Plasmonic Hot-Carrier Extraction
    Ng, C ; Zeng, P ; Lloyd, JA ; Chakraborty, D ; Roberts, A ; Smith, TA ; Bach, U ; Sader, JE ; Davis, TJ ; Gomez, DE (AMER CHEMICAL SOC, 2019-03-01)
    When plasmonic nanoparticles are coupled with semiconductors, highly energetic hot carriers can be extracted from the metal-semiconductor interface for various applications in light energy conversion. However, the current quantum yields for hot-electron extraction are generally low. An approach for increasing the extraction efficiency consists of maximizing the contact area between the surface of the metal nanostructure and the electron-accepting material. In this work, we developed an innovative, simple, and scalable fabrication technique that partially embeds colloidal plasmonic nanostructures within a semiconductor TiO2 layer without utilizing any complex top-down nanofabrication method. The successful embedding is confirmed by scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy imaging. Using visible-pump, near-IR probe transient absorption spectroscopy, we also provide evidence that the increase in the surface contact area between the nanostructures and the electron-accepting material leads to an increase in the amount of hot-electron injection into the TiO2 layer.
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    Photoinduced Electron Transfer in the Strong Coupling Regime: Waveguide-Plasmon Polaritons
    Zeng, P ; Cadusch, J ; Chakraborty, D ; Smith, TA ; Roberts, A ; Sader, JE ; Davis, TJ ; Gomez, DE (AMER CHEMICAL SOC, 2016-04)
    Reversible exchange of photons between a material and an optical cavity can lead to the formation of hybrid light-matter states where material properties such as the work function [ Hutchison et al. Adv. Mater. 2013 , 25 , 2481 - 2485 ], chemical reactivity [ Hutchison et al. Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 2012 , 51 , 1592 - 1596 ], ultrafast energy relaxation [ Salomon et al. Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 2009 , 48 , 8748 - 8751 ; Gomez et al. J. Phys. Chem. B 2013 , 117 , 4340 - 4346 ], and electrical conductivity [ Orgiu et al. Nat. Mater. 2015 , 14 , 1123 - 1129 ] of matter differ significantly to those of the same material in the absence of strong interactions with the electromagnetic fields. Here we show that strong light-matter coupling between confined photons on a semiconductor waveguide and localized plasmon resonances on metal nanowires modifies the efficiency of the photoinduced charge-transfer rate of plasmonic derived (hot) electrons into accepting states in the semiconductor material. Ultrafast spectroscopy measurements reveal a strong correlation between the amplitude of the transient signals, attributed to electrons residing in the semiconductor and the hybridization of waveguide and plasmon excitations.