Direct Evidence of an Efficient Plasmon-Induced Hot-Electron Transfer at an in Situ Grown Ag/TiO2 Interface for Highly Enhanced Solar H2 Generation

Satya Veer Singh, M. Praveen Kumar, Sengeni Anantharaj, Bratindranath Mukherjee, Subrata Kundu, Bhola N. Pal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Plasmon-induced hot-electron generation and its efficient transfer to the conduction band (CB) of neighboring metal oxides is an effective route to solar energy harvesting. However, until now, this process has been very inefficient due to the poor charge transfer rate from plasmonic metal nanoparticles (NPs) to the CB of the oxide semiconductor. In this work, an in situ grown synthesis method has been developed to grow plasmonic Ag NPs within a titanium oxide (TiO2) matrix. This synthesis method allows us to deposit Ag NPs surrounded by a TiO2 semiconductor, which results in an efficient charge transfer from the Ag NPs to the CB of TiO2 and has been utilized for highly enhanced electro-photocatalytic H2 generation. Photoelectrochemical measurement of optimized Ag(NPs)-TiO2 thin film photoanodes showed a high photocurrent generation at a density of 42 mA cm-2 in 1 M KOH solution, which is three orders of magnitude higher than that of pure TiO2, and stability for more than 1.5 h. These data indicates that it has excellent potential application for photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting. An intense photocurrent generation in the region of plasmonic absorption of Ag NPs with a peak position of 435 nm has been observed; this photocurrent generation reveals direct evidence of a strong contribution of plasmon-induced hot electrons for solar energy conversion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1821-1830
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Energy Materials
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Feb 24
Externally publishedYes


  • H generation
  • hot electron
  • photoelectrocatalysis
  • plasmonic silver NPs
  • sol-gel
  • titanium oxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrochemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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