Ligand effects on the aqueous plasmonic catalysis by alloyed gold-copper nanorods

by Jenkins, Samir V.; Chen, Jingyi

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Alloyed materials are particularly appealing candidates for new aq. catalysts because of the synergistic effects that arise from being alloys. Noble metals are particularly appealing because the localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) of these particles can be tuned in the visible and near IR region of the spectrum. Org. phase synthesis has demonstrated extraordinary versatility in the generation of highly uniform, morphol.-controlled metal nanoparticles, but a phase transfer is necessary to produce aq. catalysts. As such, metal nanoparticles were synthesized via alkylamine redn. and transferred to aq. phase via ligand exchange. A variety of ligands and anchoring groups were used to generate distinct samples. The ligand's effects on the nanorods' catalytic activity and stability were investigated using gold-catalyzed and copper-catalyzed model reactions in the absence of irradn. Photocatalysis by irradn. of these particles at their LSPR was also demonstrated using the same model reactions. The underlying mechanisms were further investigated.