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Optical microscope strategy allows observers to monitor electrons moving in gold

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A team led by DGIST professor Seo Dae-ha has developed an experimental strategy to monitor and observe the chemical reaction of a single nanocatalyst using an optical microscope. The work is expected to contribute to the design of catalysts based on an accurate understanding of the photocatalytic reaction through an analysis method that aids in understanding the electron excitation phenomenon and transition path.

This technology is expected to yield an experiment strategy based on systems chemistry, a new experiment strategy for the close study of photocatalysts at the single-particle level.

Nanometer-level plasmonic metals, such as gold, exhibit a high light absorption rate over a wide area within the visible light range. They are combined with semiconductor photocatalysts to act as a medium to increase light absorption. Excitation occurs where electrons gain energy and move in response to light absorption, and it appears through different pathways depending on the size of the metal and the wavelength of the light. There are several hypotheses about the effect of this electron movement as a catalyst. The research team was able to test the hypotheses and reveal how electrons are transferred by developing a new microscope that is experimentally simpler and more advanced than the conventional method of observing chemical reactions.

Professor Seo Dae-ha’s research team developed hybrid nanoparticles (for example, “gold/copper oxides”, a combination of gold and copper oxides), and lasers of different wavelengths were combined to investigate the reaction between them to test different hypotheses about the electron. excitation phenomenon. Through this process, the team was able to selectively induce electron excitation in gold nanoparticles and quantitatively analyze their contributions by evaluating the increase in catalyst reactivity. In addition, the team confirmed that these excited electrons were transferred to the semiconductor to simultaneously increase its stability and reactivity.

“The observation technology reported here is one that observes chemical reactions with high precision, efficiency and low cost,” said Professor Seo Dae-ha of DGIST’s Department of Physics and Chemistry, adding that “is expected to contribute to the advanced design of catalysts and will be applied as an advanced nanoparticle evaluation and control technology for pharmaceuticals.”

The research was published in Chemo.

Photoelectrode that can capture 85 percent of visible light

More information:
Yongdeok Ahn et al, Combinatorial selective synthesis and excitation experiments for quantitative analysis of effects of Au on a semiconductor photocatalyst, Chemo (2022). DOI: 10.116/j.chempr.2022.06.004

Journal information:

Provided by DGIST (Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology)

Quote: Optical microscope strategy allows observers to monitor electrons moving in gold (2022, Aug. 12) retrieved Aug. 12, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-08-optical-microscope-strategy-electrons-gold. html

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