Site-Selective Nanoreactor Deposition on Photocatalytic Al Nanocubes

Hossein Robatjazi, Minhan Lou, Benjamin D. Clark, Christian R. Jacobson, Dayne F. Swearer, Naomi J. Halas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Photoactivation of catalytic materials through plasmon-coupled energy transfer has created new possibilities for expanding the scope of light-driven heterogeneous catalysis. Here we present a nanoengineered plasmonic photocatalyst consisting of catalytic Pd islands preferentially grown on vertices of Al nanocubes. The regioselective Pd deposition on Al nanocubes does not rely on complex surface ligands, in contrast to site-specific transition-metal deposition on gold nanoparticles. We show that the strong local field enhancement on the sharp nanocube vertices provides a mechanism for efficient coupling of the plasmonic Al antenna to adjacent Pd nanoparticles. A substantial increase in photocatalytic H2 dissociation on Pd-bound Al nanocubes relative to pristine Al nanocubes can be observed, incentivizing further engineering of heterometallic antenna-reactor photocatalysts. Controlled growth of catalytic materials on plasmonic hot spots can result in more efficient use of the localized surface plasmon energy for photocatalysis, while minimizing the amount and cost of precious transition-metal catalysts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4550-4557
Number of pages8
JournalNano letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 10 2020


  • aluminum nanocubes
  • antenna-reactor
  • plasmonic photocatalysis
  • regioselective growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Site-Selective Nanoreactor Deposition on Photocatalytic Al Nanocubes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this