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Direct Visualization of a Gold Nanoparticle Electron Trapping Effect

Williams, OBJ; Katsiev, K; Baek, B; Harrison, G; Thornton, G; Idriss, H; (2022) Direct Visualization of a Gold Nanoparticle Electron Trapping Effect. Journal of the American Chemical Society 10.1021/jacs.1c12197. (In press).

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Abstract

A new atomic-scale anisotropy in the photoreaction of surface carboxylates on rutile TiO2(110) induced by gold clusters is found. STM and DFT+U are used to study this phenomenon by monitoring the photoreaction of a prototype hole-scavenger molecule, benzoic acid, over stoichiometric (s) s-TiO2, Au9/s-TiO2, and reduced (r) Au9/r-TiO2. STM results show that benzoic acid adsorption displaces a large fraction of Au clusters from the terraces toward their edges. DFT calculations explain that Au9 clusters on stoichiometric TiO2 are distorted by benzoic acid adsorption. The influence of sub-monolayers of Au on the UV/visible photoreaction of benzoic acid was explored at room temperature, with adsorbate depletion taken as a measure of activity. The empty sites, observed upon photoexcitation, occurred in elongated chains (2 to 6 molecules long) in the [11̅0] and [001] directions. A roughly 3-fold higher depletion rate is observed in the [001] direction. This is linked to the anisotropic conduction of excited electrons along [001], with subsequent trapping by Au clusters leaving a higher concentration of holes and thus an increased decomposition rate. To our knowledge this is the first time that atomic-scale directionality of a chemical reaction is reported upon photoexcitation of the semiconductor.

Type: Article
Title: Direct Visualization of a Gold Nanoparticle Electron Trapping Effect
Location: United States
DOI: 10.1021/jacs.1c12197
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1021/jacs.1c12197
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Chemistry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10141905
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