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Viable photocatalysts under solar-spectrum irradiation: nonplasmonic metal nanoparticles

Viable photocatalysts under solar-spectrum irradiation: nonplasmonic metal nanoparticles

Angewandte Chemie 53(11): 2935-2940

Supported nanoparticles (NPs) of nonplasmonic transition metals (Pd, Pt, Rh, and Ir) are widely used as thermally activated catalysts for the synthesis of important organic compounds, but little is known about their photocatalytic capabilities. We discovered that irradiation with light can significantly enhance the intrinsic catalytic performance of these metal NPs at ambient temperatures for several types of reactions. These metal NPs strongly absorb the light mainly through interband electronic transitions. The excited electrons interact with the reactant molecules on the particles to accelerate these reactions. The rate of the catalyzed reaction depends on the concentration and energy of the excited electrons, which can be increased by increasing the light intensity or by reducing the irradiation wavelength. The metal NPs can also effectively couple thermal and light energy sources to more efficiently drive chemical transformations.

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Accession: 056867988

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PMID: 24604813

DOI: 10.1002/anie.201308145

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