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Highly efficient, near-infrared-featured CO2 reduction by surface plasmon

Researchers report highly efficient, near-infrared-featured CO2 reduction by surface plasmon
Plasmon-induced CO2 reduction reaction. Credit: Prof. Xiong Jieyu’s team

To synthesize hydrocarbons via sunlight, CO2 and water is commonly seen in the nature, especially in the plant kingdom, but it remains an inviting challenging in science amidst growing interest in pursuing new and clean energy. Recently, a research team led by Prof. Xiong Jieyu from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) reports a broadband plasmon-induced CO2 reduction reaction, which achieves a CH4 production rate of 0.55mmol g-1 h-1 with 100% selectivity to hydrocarbon products. The work is published in Nature Communications.

Artificial photosynthesis could usher in a promising energy future, bypassing the exhaustion of coal and oil resources. The method has been studied for many years and gets stuck in the low utilization efficiency of low-energy photons, especially near-infrared photons. A mass of semiconductors and metal nanocatalysts have been studied to solve the problem. Among them, plasmonic metal nanoparticles have proved their capacity in absorbing low-energy photons but fail in energy coupling into the reactant molecules.

Researchers in Prof. Xiong Jieyu's team focused on solar-to-chemical energy conversion and optimized the system by employing versatile co-catalysts to establish an effective bridge for transferring hot carriers from plasmonic materials into reactant molecules.

They found that the localized electric field could lead to the emergence of a new isolated state above the Fermi energy and the differentiation of electron transfer within different molecular orbitals, thus enabling such a unique artificial photosynthesis process. Through their method, they have eventually achieved an extraordinary CH4 production rate of 0.55 mmol g-1 h-1 via a gas-solid biphase system, which is a record high.

The work breaks a long-standing block and proves the viability of low-energy utilization and efficiency improvement of the solar spectrum. Also, it provides a riveting picture of the potential of plasmon-induced catalysis toward achieving broadband artificial and makes move further toward techno-economic applications.

More information: Canyu Hu et al, Near-infrared-featured broadband CO2 reduction with water to hydrocarbons by surface plasmon, Nature Communications (2023). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-023-35860-2

Journal information: Nature Communications

Provided by University of Science and Technology of China

Citation: Highly efficient, near-infrared-featured CO2 reduction by surface plasmon (2023, March 6) retrieved 19 June 2024 from https://phys.org/news/2023-03-highly-efficient-near-infrared-featured-co2-reduction.html
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