The goal of this project is to synthesize one-dimensional (1D) oxide nanostructures using chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and study their plasmonic properties for plasmon enhanced photocatalytic applications.
Haitao Zhang (Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science)
Recently, an efficient way to enhance the photocatalytic efficiency in semiconductors has been developed. Plasmonic nanoparticles are attached to semiconductor nanostructures to employ plasmon resonances in photocatalysis. So far, most studies have been focused on plasmonic nanoparticles of noble metals, such as Au and Ag. This study will focus on the plasmonic properties of heavily-doped metal oxide (e.g., MoO3) nanostructures. With their tunable carrier density by adjusting the doping or stoichiometry, the resulting resonance absorption can be expanded to cover visible, near-infrared, and mid-infrared regions. This approach opens up new opportunities for the plasmonic enhancement in solar energy utilization. MoO3 nanostructures will be synthesized using two approaches. (1) Low pressure direct chemical vapor deposition (CVD) growth of quasi-1D MoO3 nanoplates or nanobelts. (2) High pressure CVD growth of ultra-long MoO3 whiskers followed by liquid exfoliation to produce few-layer MoO3 nanoribbons. Vacuum annealing of the as-synthesized MoO3 nanostructures under reduction atmosphere (e.g., H2) will be performed to produce sub-stoichiometric nanostructure for the plasmonic property measurement.
REU Student’s Role
Students participating in this project will get involved in a range of research activities:
Materials Synthesis. They will learn and carry out CVD growth, exfoliation, and post-growth annealing of MoO3 nanostructures. Mechanism will be studied to reveal the effects of experiment parameters on the dimension and stoichiometry controls of the MoO3 nanostructures.
Materials Characterizations. Scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microcopy, and atomic force microscopy will be employed for morphologic and structure characterization to determine the dimension, crystalline structure, and stoichiometry.