Ying-Chu Chen1 Radian Popescu1 Dagmar Gerthsen1 Yu-Kuei Hsu2 Yan-Gu Lin3 Claus Feldmann1

1, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie, Karlsruhe, , Germany
2, National Dong Hwa University, Hualien City, , Taiwan
3, National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center, Hsinchu City, , Taiwan

A biomimetic blueprint emulating the growth pattern of a natural plant –peapod– was put forward for the first time for plasmonic photocatalyst design.1-3 It was exemplified via a multi-core-shell (mCS-) nanocomposite consisting of a tubular protonated metaniobate (HxK1-xNbO3) semiconductor sheath with spherical core-shell Au@Nb nanoparticles as the beans residing in the cavity. The biomimicry in such design endows Au@Nb@HxK1-xNbO3 nanopeapods (mCS-NPPs) with exceptional light harvesting ability well befitting the solar spectrum. In particular, HxK1-xNbO3 is responsible for the ultraviolet (UV) light absorption while the transverse-mode and longitudinal-analogous surface plasmon resonances (SPRs) stem from the strong near-field plasmon coupling of the Au@Nb nanopeas accounting for visible (VIS) to near-infrared (NIR) light harvesting. More importantly, the 3D Schottky junction arising from the peapodded configuration allows these SPR-triggered charge carries to efficiently inject into HxK1-xNbO3 to participate in interesting chemical transformations. As a proof-of-concept, organic dye degradation for environment remediation and water splitting for hydrogen generation validate the significance.

[1] Adireddy, S.; Carbo, C. E.; Rostamzadeh, T.; Vargas, J. M.; Spinu L.; Wiley, J. B. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2014, 53, 4614.
[2] Kawasaki, S.; Takahashi, R.; Yamamoto, T.; Kobayashi, M.; Kumigashira, H.; Yoshinobu, J.; Komori, F.; Kudo, A.; Lippmaa, M. Nature Commun. 2016, 7, 11818.
[3] Chen, Y. C.; Popescu, R.; Gerthsen, D.; Hsu, Y. K.; Lin, Y. G.; Feldmann, C. 2017, Nature Commun., in revision.