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Keywords:

  • microwave chemistry;
  • photocatalysis;
  • silver;
  • silver bromide;
  • surface plasmon resonance

Abstract

Noble metal nanoparticles (NPs) are often used as electron scavengers in conventional semiconductor photocatalysis to suppress electron–hole (e–h+) recombination and promote interfacial charge transfer, and thus enhance photocatalytic activity of semiconductors. In this contribution, it is demonstrated that noble metal NPs such as Ag NPs function as visible-light harvesting and electron-generating centers during the daylight photocatalysis of AgBr@Ag. Novel Ag plasmonic photocatalysis could cooperate with the conventional AgBr semiconductor photocatalysis to enhance the overall daylight activity of AgBr@Ag greatly because of an interesting synergistic effect. After a systematic investigation of the daylight photocatalysis mechanism of AgBr@Ag, the synergistic effect was attributed to surface plasmon resonance induced local electric field enhancement on Ag, which can accelerate the generation of e–h+ pairs in AgBr, so that more electrons are produced in the conduction band of AgBr under daylight irradiation. This study provides new insight into the photocatalytic mechanism of noble metal/semiconductor systems as well as the design and fabrication of novel plasmonic photocatalysts.