Sang Woo Han1
1, KAIST, Daejeon, , Korea (the Republic of)
Solar energy conversion to fuels based on charge carrier generation in semiconductors is a highly evolved scientific and industrial enterprise. Recently, it has been suggested that charge carriers either transferred directly from a photo-excited plasmonic metal nanostructure to an adjacent semiconductor, or induced by the plasmon energy transfer from a plasmonic nanostructure, could boost the efficiency of solar energy conversion processes, leading to a totally new paradigm in harvesting solar energy for practical use. In this context, both the development of a rational strategy that can enable precise control over the topology of heteronanostructures consisting of plasmonic metals and semiconductors and the elucidation of the underpinning mechanism of solar energy conversion processes are highly demanding to fully exploit the plasmonic function of the metal domain in heteronanostructures and thus to devise innovative solar energy conversion platforms. Here recently developed novel synthetic strategies to the realization of plasmonic metal-semiconductor heteronanocrystals with desired configurations and their use in plasmon-enhanced photocatalytic hydrogen evolution are reported. The prepared heteronanocrystals could enable the drastic elevation of solar energy conversion efficiency as well as the elucidation of the underpinning mechanism of the plasmon-enhanced photocatalysis.