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A Microorganism Bred TiO2/Au/TiO2 Heterostructure for Whispering Gallery Mode Resonance Assisted Plasmonic Photocatalysis

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posted on 2020-09-25, 14:35 authored by Xin Yu, Xin Jin, Xuanyu Chen, Aizhu Wang, Jianming Zhang, Jian Zhang, Zhenhuan Zhao, Mingming Gao, Luca Razzari, Hong Liu
The TiO2/Au nanostructure has been acknowledged as one of the most classic visible-light active photocatalysts due to the surface plasmon resonance (SPR) of Au nanoparticles. In many cases, the SPR effect only features weak visible light absorption in conventional TiO2/Au nanostructures. Here, we demonstrate a design of TiO2/Au/TiO2 with a combination of whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonances and SPR for efficient visible-light-driven photocatalysis. Escherichia coli (E. coli) were used as natural reactants as well as a template to construct an E. coli-like TiO2/Au/TiO2 nanostructure. Using numerical simulations, we show that the E. coli-like TiO2 capsule acts as the WGM resonator to interplay with the SPR effect of the Au NPs on TiO2 surface, which leads to a significant increase of visible light absorption and the local field enhancement at the Au–TiO2 interface. Accordingly, with the synergistic effect of WGM and SPR, the E. coli-like TiO2/Au/TiO2 nanostructure exhibits enhanced photocatalytic activity in the visible range. Our work reveals a promising bioapproach to a design highly visible light active plasmonic photocatalyst.

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