Self-Assembled Noble Metal Metasurface-based Platform for Photoelectrochemical Catalysis (MetaCatalysis)


Project no.: S-MIP-23-93

Project description:

Photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting utilizing solar energy and earth-abundant semiconductors is one of the most widely researched areas for hydrogen production. H2 evolution reaction efficiency under solar light conditions has been tremendously improved by heterostructure photocatalysts composed of plasmonic nanoparticles (NPs), platinum, and semiconductor materials. Most efforts on plasmonic photocatalysts have only focused on the effects of localized surface plasmons (LSPs) in random distributions while plasmonic quasi-2D metamaterials or metasurfaces (MSs) offer unique advantages. Plasmonic NPs organized into ultrathin periodic arrays with photonic spacings support surface lattice resonances (SLRs), a hybrid mode from the coupling between the LSP of the individual NPs and the diffraction mode of the lattice, that show orders of magnitude stronger localized electromagnetic fields. The major hindrance to wider MS application is the requirements for lithography qualities and their up scalability. Colloidal chemistry and self-assembly processes can propose perfect nanomaterials not achievable with the top-down lithography processes. Whereas template-based colloidal material deposition methods propose perfect alignment down to the single NP resolution and is an enabler technology for MS-based catalysis research. The projects aim to develop a platform for PEC investigation based on template-assisted self-assembled plasmonic metasurfaces composed of metallic NPs and TiO2. The controlled configuration NP assembly methods will be developed ensuring desired hetero structure arrangements and their effective transfer preserving initial spatial distribution and related optical resonances. PEC performance effectiveness of the meta-catalytic surfaces will be benchmarked relating to their plasmonic configurations. A fundamental understanding of the energy transfer processes and their kinetics in the regularly patterned bi-metallic NP assemblies on TiO2 will be deepened.

Project funding:

Projects funded by the Research Council of Lithuania (RCL), Projects carried out by researchers’ teams

Project results:

It is planned to disseminate the research outputs via three scientific publications and carry out active outreach activities by participating in science shows and press releases.

Period of project implementation: 2023-04-01 - 2026-03-31

Project coordinator: Kaunas University of Technology

Tomas Tamulevičius, Tomas Tamulevičius

2023 - 2026

Research Laboratory of Surfaces and Thin Films, Institute of Materials Science, Department of Physics, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences