Photodeposition of Pd onto Colloidal Au Nanorods by Surface Plasmon Excitation

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A protocol is described to photocatalytically guide Pd deposition onto Au nanorods (AuNR) using surface plasmon resonance (SPR). Excited plasmonic hot electrons upon SPR irradiation drive reductive deposition of Pd on colloidal AuNR in the presence of PdCl42-. Plasmon-driven reduction of secondary metals potentiates covalent, sub-wavelength deposition at targeted locations coinciding with electric field “hot-spots” of the plasmonic substrate using an external field (e.g., laser). The process described herein details a solution-phase deposition of a catalytically-active noble metal (Pd) from a transition metal halide salt (H2PdCl4) onto aqueously-suspended, anisotropic plasmonic structures (AuNR). The solution-phase process is amenable to making other bimetallic architectures. Transmission UV-vis monitoring of the photochemical reaction, coupled with ex situ XPS and statistical TEM analysis, provide immediate experimental feedback to evaluate properties of the bimetallic structures as they evolve during the photocatalytic reaction. Resonant plasmon irradiation of AuNR in the presence of PdCl42- creates a thin, covalently-bound Pd0 shell without any significant dampening effect on its plasmonic behavior in this representative experiment/batch. Overall, plasmonic photodeposition offers an alternative route for high-volume, economical synthesis of optoelectronic materials with sub-5 nm features (e.g., heterometallic photocatalysts or optoelectronic interconnects).