Investigating plasmonic catalysis by surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy

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Title: Investigating plasmonic catalysis by surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy
Author: Sinausia, Daniel
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2020
Language: eng
Thesis level: master's thesis
Degree program: Kemian ja molekyylitieteiden maisteriohjelma
Master's Programme in Chemistry and Molecular Sciences
Magisterprogrammet i kemi och molekylära vetenskaper
Specialisation: ei opintosuuntaa
no specialization
ingen studieinriktning
Discipline: none
Abstract: Along with the current studies on plasmonic photocatalysis that have emerged in the past years, we inquired into the catalytic performance of spherical gold and silver nanoparticles to further on investigate how their addition to doped molybdenum oxide (MoO3-x) could enhance its own plasmonic properties. Such studies were carried out synthesizing nanofilms on which the coupling oxidation of p-aminothiophenol (PATP) to p,p´-dimercaptoazobenzene (DMAB) was carried out using Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS). The corresponding irradiation of 532 and 633nm light, observing satisfactory results with the nanoparticles and some conversion on the oxide when using the latter wavelength. Additional characterization of the different catalysts was performed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to observe their morphologies, confirming the spherical shape of the nanoparticles and the layered composition of the oxide. X-ray diffraction (XRD) was used to study the α-MoO3 structure of the semiconductor and the effects that the doping process had on it, showing how the distance between layers increased as we introduced more hydrides between them. These compounds were also analyzed with a spectrophotometer to study their performances when irradiated with light, showing a noteworthy increase in the absorbance after the reduction with the dopant. Finally, we tested the performance of these catalysts on the oxidation of benzyl alcohol when irradiated with 427 and 525 nm lamps, as well as with white xenon ones, not finding unfortunately any significant conversion during the time given though.

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