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Resonant Localization, Enhancement, and Polarization of Optical Fields in Nano-Scale Interface Regions for Photo-Catalytic Applications

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We report results of theoretical simulations of optical field enhancement in a system consisting of spherical and hemispherical noble metal nanoparticles on a smooth titania surface, which is a model system relevant to applications in photo-catalysis and solar energy harvesting. Simulations conducted using Finite-Difference Time-Domain (FDTD) technique reveal presence of resonant optical extinction bands at visible wavelengths, whose optical scattering is weak, but the associated localization and intensity enhancement of optical near-field are significant. For hemispheres, the field is strongly localized at the metal-substrate interface, where intensity enhancement of up to 104 times is reached. Moreover, the field is predominantly polarized along the normal to the substrate. These findings indicate potential of the hemisphere-substrate system for applications relying on optically promoted charge transport through the metal-substrate interface, such as photochemical reactions and light-to-current conversion. The results of theoretical analysis are compared with reported experimental data on photo-catalytic reactions.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2011

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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