Plasmonic metal nanostructures have garnered rapidly increasing interest as heterogeneous photocatalysts, facilitating chemical bond activation and overcoming the high energy demands of conventional thermal catalysis. Here we report the highly efficient plasmonic photocatalysis of the direct decomposition of hydrogen sulfide into hydrogen and sulfur, an alternative to the industrial Claus process. Under visible light illumination and with no external heat source, up to a 20-fold reactivity enhancement compared to thermocatalysis can be observed. The substantially enhanced reactivity can be attributed to plasmon-mediated hot carriers (HCs) that modify the reaction energetics. With a shift in the rate-determining step of the reaction, a new reaction pathway is made possible with a lower apparent reaction barrier. Light-driven one-step decomposition of hydrogen sulfide represents an exciting opportunity for simultaneous high-efficiency hydrogen production and low-temperature sulfur recovery, important in many industrial processes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemistry (miscellaneous)
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Fuel Technology
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Materials Chemistry