The innovation engine for new materials

Jialuo Li


Fudan University



Faculty Sponsor(s): 

Martin Moskovits
Galen Stucky

Faculty Sponsor's Department: 

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Project Title: 

Plasmon-Mediated Methanol Decomposition on Palladium Nanorod Devices

Project Description: 

Facing increasing global demands for energy and the imminent threat of severe environmental impact, there is much recent emphasis on solar energy and other carbon-neutral energy sources. The conversion of solar energy to electricity or to fuels based on electron-hole pair production in semiconductors is a highly evolved scientific and commercial enterprise. Recently, non-radiative decay of localized surface plasmons (LSPs)--collective oscillations of conduction electrons in metal nanoparticles--has been investigated as a new source of electron-hole pairs. Compared with traditional semiconductor technology, plasmons are highly tunable based on the nanoparticle’s composition, geometry, and environment. Additionally, palladium has significant catalytic activity, which makes palladium promising for photocatalytic applications. Here, we report a solar harvesting device using palladium nanorod arrays for methanol decomposition. Palladium nanorods thinly coated with a semiconductor and platinum nanoparticles act as a photocathode, and bare palladium nanorod arrays act as photoanodes. Preliminary results show that the photoanode device can decompose methanol under a low potentials at 0.53V (vs. RHE) and its surface plasmonic resonances (SPR) were found around 500nm and 1200nm through UV-vis. We hope to show that the device is highly photoeffective in methanol decomposition and has a long lifetime.