Research Project

Development and Characterization of Inexpensive, Earth-Abundant Materials for Efficient Photocatalyzed Synthesis

Design, fabricate, and characterize new plasmonic-catalytic systems based on nanoparticles containing aluminum to enhance light absorption in titanium dioxide

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Figure 1 a. TEM image of colloidal plasmonic gold nanorods. Scale-bar: 100 nm. b. Simulated absorption cross-sections of plasmonic gold nanorods as their length is varied from 20 nm (purple) to 100 nm (blue), showing the wide tuning range possible. The grey curve is a plot of the AM1.5G solar irradiance spectrum (in arbitrary units).

In collaboration with the group of Prof. Art Bragg in the Chemistry Department, we are researching ways to design, fabricate, and characterize new plasmonic-catalytic systems based on nanoparticles containing aluminum to enhance light absorption in titanium dioxide. Aluminum is a non-toxic earth-abundant metal and the shape and composition of aluminum nanoparticles can be adjusted to use solar radiation, particularly visible and near ultraviolet (UV) radiation. This project will lay the groundwork for a comprehensive plasmonic-photocatalytic organic synthesis platform based on scalable, earth-abundant, non-toxic materials with the potential to transform cost and energy efficiency for chemical synthesis. This project is facilitated through a Seed Grant from the Hopkins Environment, Energy, Sustainability and Health Institute (E2SHI). For more information, please see:

http://e2shi.jhu.edu/research_projects/seed_grants/research_projects/thon_bragg/

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