University of Oulu

RSC Adv., 2021, 11, 2733-2743,

Surface plasmon-driven photocatalytic activity of Ni@NiO/NiCO₃ core–shell nanostructures

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Author: Talebi, Parisa1; Singh, Harishchandra1; Rani, Ekta1;
Organizations: 1Nano and Molecular Systems Research Unit, University of Oulu, Finland
2School of Materials Science and Engineering, Henan University of Science and Technology, Luoyang 471023, Henan, China
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Royal Society of Chemistry, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-01-18


Ni@NiO/NiCO3 core–shell nanostructures have been investigated for surface plasmon driven photocatalytic solar H₂ generation without any co-catalyst. Huge variation in the photocatalytic activity has been observed in the pristine vs. post-vacuum annealed samples with the maximum H₂ yield (∼110 μmol g⁻¹ h⁻¹) for the vacuum annealed sample (N70–100/2 h) compared to ∼92 μmol g⁻¹ h⁻¹ for the pristine (N70) photocatalyst. Thorough structural (X-ray diffraction) and spectroscopic (X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy coupled electron energy loss spectroscopy) investigations reveal the core Ni nanoparticle decorated with the shell, a composite of crystalline NiO and amorphous NiCO₃. Significant visible light absorption at ∼475 nm in the UV-vis region along with the absence of a peak/edge corresponding to NiO suggest the role of surface plasmons in the observed catalytic activity. As per the proposed mechanism, amorphous NiCO₃ in the shell has been suggested to serve as the dielectric medium/interface, which enhances the surface plasmon resonance and boosts the HER activity.

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Series: RSC advances
ISSN: 2046-2069
ISSN-E: 2046-2069
ISSN-L: 2046-2069
Volume: 11
Pages: 2733 - 2743
DOI: 10.1039/D0RA09666K
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 114 Physical sciences
Funding: The work is partially supported by the project (No. 311934) from the Academy of Finland, and by the University of Oulu Finland.
Copyright information: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by the Royal Society of Chemistry. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence.