Luminescence Studies of Individual Quantum Dot Photocatalysts

2013-09-04T00:00:00Z (GMT) by Lilac Amirav A. Paul Alivisatos
Using far-field optical microscopy we report the first measurements of photoluminescence from single nanoparticle photocatalysts. Fluence-dependent luminescence is investigated from metal-semiconductor heterojunction quantum dot catalysts exposed to a variety of environments, ranging from gaseous argon to liquid water containing a selection of hole scavengers. The catalysts each exhibit characteristic nonlinear fluence dependence. From these structurally and environmentally sensitive trends, we disentangle the separate rate-determining steps in each particle across the very wide range of time scales, which follow the initial light absorption process. This information will significantly benefit the design of effective artificial photocatalytic systems for renewable direct solar-to-fuel energy conversion.