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Plasmonic nanostructures to enhance catalytic performance of zeolites under visible light

Zhang, Xingguang; Ke, Xuebin; Du, Aijun; Zhu, Huaiyong


Xingguang Zhang

Aijun Du

Huaiyong Zhu


Light absorption efficiency of heterogeneous catalysts has restricted their photocatalytic capability for commercially important organic synthesis. Here, we report a way of harvesting visible light efficiently to boost zeolite catalysis by means of plasmonic gold nanoparticles (Au-NPs) supported on zeolites. Zeolites possess strong Brønsted acids and polarized electric fields created by extra-framework cations. The polarized electric fields can be further intensified by the electric near-field enhancement of Au-NPs, which results from the localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) upon visible light irradiation. The acetalization reaction was selected as a showcase performed on MZSM-5 and Au/MZSM-5 (M = H+, Na+, Ca2+, or La3+). The density functional theory (DFT) calculations confirmed that the intensified polarized electric fields played a critical role in stretching the C = O bond of the reactants of benzaldehyde to enlarge their molecular polarities, thus allowing reactants to be activated more efficiently by catalytic centers so as to boost the reaction rates. This discovery should evoke intensive research interest on plasmonic metals and diverse zeolites with an aim to take advantage of sunlight for plasmonic devices, molecular electronics, energy storage, and catalysis.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 22, 2014
Journal Scientific Reports
Print ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 4
Issue 1
Article Number 3805
APA6 Citation Zhang, X., Ke, X., Du, A., & Zhu, H. (2014). Plasmonic nanostructures to enhance catalytic performance of zeolites under visible light. Scientific reports, 4(1),
Keywords Multidisciplinary
Publisher URL


Article (423 Kb)

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