Hartland, G.V.; Besteiro, L.; Johns, P.; Govorov, A.O.
ACS Energy Letters, Volume 2, Pages 1641–1653
Publication year: 2017

Metal nanoparticles are excellent light absorbers. The absorption processes create highly excited electron−hole pairs, and recently there has been interest in harnessing these hot charge carriers for photocatalysis and solar energy conversion applications. The goal of this Perspective is to describe the dynamics and energy distribution of the charge carriers produced by photon absorption and the implications for the photocatalysis mechanism. We will also discuss how spectroscopy can be used to provide insight into the coupling between plasmons and molecular resonances. In particular, the analysis shows that the choice of material and shape of the nanocrystal can play a crucial role in hot electron generation and coupling between plasmons and molecular transitions. The detection and even calculation of many-body hot-electron processes in the plasmonic systems with continuous spectra of electrons and short lifetimes are challenging, but at the same time they are very interesting from the points of view of both potential applications and fundamental science. We propose that developing an understanding of these processes will provide a pathway for improving the efficiency of plasmon-induced photocatalysis.

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