Free-standing nanoporous gold for direct plasmon enhanced electro-oxidation of alcohol molecules

Zhili Wang, Jing Du, Yongzheng Zhang, Jiuhui Han, Shouqiang Huang, Akihiko Hirata, Mingwei Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) excitation enhanced chemical and electrochemical reactions represent a promising pathway for solar-to-chemical energy conversion. However, plasmonic catalysts usually suffer from low collection efficiency of hot charge carries generated by LSPR excitation due to short lifetime of hot carriers and fast electron-hole recombination. Schottky barriers between plasmonic catalysts and semiconducting supports have been utilized to prevent the electron-hole recombination. However, the interfacial barriers also hinder low-energy hot charge collection and thus affect solar-to-chemical energy conversion efficiency. Here we report that bicontinuous nanoporous gold as a Schottky barriers-free direct plasmonic catalyst can significantly enhance electro-oxidation of alcohol molecules. A high energetic hole yield of 0.486% is achieved, which is 4 times higher than that of discrete plasmonic AuAg nanoparticles. The direct plasmonic catalyst offers the highest methanol oxidation current density of 531 µA cm−2 among all known Au catalysts. This work provides compelling evidence that higher hot carrier collection efficiency can be achieved from direct plasmonic electrocatalysis without the assistance of Schottky junctions and has important implications in developing high efficiency plasmonic catalysts for photo-enhanced electrochemical reactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-293
Number of pages8
JournalNano Energy
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Feb
Externally publishedYes


  • Electrocatalysis
  • Localized surface plasmon resonance
  • Methanol oxidation reaction
  • Nanoporous gold
  • Plasmonic catalyst

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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