Plasmonic Heating Plays a Dominant Role in the Plasmon-Induced Photocatalytic Reduction of 4-Nitrobenzenethiol

Alexander A. Golubev, Boris N. Khlebtsov, Raul D. Rodriguez, Ying Chen, Dietrich R.T. Zahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


It is believed that plasmon-excited electrons from Ag and Au nanostructures can induce photochemical reactions. However, the influence of heat generated by nanoparticle (NP) hotspots during light irradiation was not systematically studied yet. To evaluate the role of plasmonic heating, we performed a surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy study of the photocatalytic conversion of 4-nitrobenzenthiol to 4-aminobenzenthiol by metal NPs with different compositions and shapes having localized surface plasmon resonances (LSPRs) spanning the whole visible range. Our collective results based on temperature-dependent studies and multiwavelength analyses show that contrary to the previous reports, the photocatalytic reaction is not only determined by the excitation of LSPRs or by the NP material (Ag or Au) but also drastically dependent on the plasmon-induced heating. This work has strong implications for the development and engineering of novel plasmonic and photonic applications where the role of localized temperature must be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5657-5663
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Energy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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