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Quantifying hot carrier and thermal contributions in plasmonic photocatalysis

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Science  05 Oct 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6410, pp. 69-72
DOI: 10.1126/science.aat6967

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Hot carriers reducing thermal barriers

Plasmonic catalysts can generate hot charge carriers that can activate reactants and, in turn, reduce the overall barrier to a reaction. Zhou et al. studied the decomposition of ammonia to hydrogen on a copper alloy nanostructure that absorbed light and generated electrons that activated nitrogen atoms on ruthenium surface atoms (see the Perspective by Cortés). By measuring reaction rates at different wavelengths, light intensities, and catalyst surface temperatures, the light-induced reduction of the apparent activation barrier was quantified.

Science, this issue p. 69; see also p. 28