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New Insights into Electronic and Geometric Effects in the Enhanced Photoelectrooxidation of Ethanol Using ZnO Nanorod/Ultrathin Au Nanowire Hybrids

Leelavathi, Annamalai and Madras, Giridhar and Ravishankar, Narayanan (2014) New Insights into Electronic and Geometric Effects in the Enhanced Photoelectrooxidation of Ethanol Using ZnO Nanorod/Ultrathin Au Nanowire Hybrids. In: JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY, 136 (41). pp. 14445-14455.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1021/ja5059444

Abstract

Oxidation of small organic molecules in a fuel cell is a viable method for energy production. However, the key issue is the development of suitable catalysts that exhibit high efficiencies and remain stable during operation. Here, we demonstrate that amine-modified ZnO nanorods on which ultrathin Au nanowires are grown act as an excellent catalyst for the oxidation of ethanol. We show that the modification of the ZnO nanorods with oleylamine not only modifies the electronic structure favorably but also serves to anchor the Au nanowires on the nanorods. The adsorption of OH- species on the Au nanowires that is essential for ethanol oxidation is facilitated at much lower potentials as compared to bare Au nanowires leading to high activity. While ZnO shows negligible electrocatalytic activity under normal conditions, there is significant enhancement in the activity under light irradiation. We demonstrate a synergistic enhancement in the photoelectrocatalytic activity of the ZnO/Au nanowire hybrid and provide mechanistic explanation for this enhancement based on both electronic as well as geometric effects. The principles developed are applicable for tuning the properties of other metal/semiconductor hybrids with potentially interesting applications beyond the fuel cell application demonstrated here.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the AMER CHEMICAL SOC, 1155 16TH ST, NW, WASHINGTON, DC 20036 USA
Department/Centre: Division of Chemical Sciences > Materials Research Centre
Division of Mechanical Sciences > Chemical Engineering
Division of Interdisciplinary Research > Centre for Nano Science and Engineering
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2014 05:09
Last Modified: 28 Nov 2014 05:09
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/50333

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