Ultrasmall gold nanoclusters (Au NCs) have recently gained enormous popularity as a newly emerging light harvester, but many fundamental aspects of their photoelectrochemical behavior are still largely unknown. Unlike traditional photoactive nanoparticles, the NC's core structure, rather than its size, is a key factor that dictates the physical properties of NCs because of a strong quantum confinement effect. Despite this importance, no effort has been made to elucidate the effect of the core structure on the photoelectrochemistry of Au NC-sensitized TiO2 (Au NC-TiO2). Using Au25 NC as a model system, we delicately tailored the icosahedral Au13 core of Au25 NC into a cuboctahedral Au15 core of Au23 NC. This subtle core manipulation has a drastic impact on the entire interfacial behavior of Au NC-TiO2, which in turn significantly affects the photoelectrochemical performance. This new insight highlights the overlooked effect of the core structure on the photoelectrochemistry of Au NC-TiO2.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by grants from the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (NRF-2019R1A2C1003429, NRF-2017R1A2B3006651, Carbon-to-X Project 2020M3H7A1096344) and by the Ministry of Education (NRF-2018R1A6A1A03024231). This work was also partly supported by the GRRC program of Gyeonggi province [(GRRCHanyang2020-A01), Hydrogen Energy Full Cycle Core Material Research Center].
© 2021 American Chemical Society.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemistry (miscellaneous)
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Fuel Technology
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Materials Chemistry