Plasmonic ZnO/Ag embedded structures as collecting layers for photogenerating electrons in solar hydrogen generation photoelectrodes

H.M. Chen, C.K. Chen, M.L. Tseng, P.C. Wu, C.M. Chang, L.-C. Cheng, H.W. Huang, T.S. Chan, D.-W. Huang, R.-S. Liu, Din-ping Tsai

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


A new fabrication strategy in which Ag plasmonics are embedded in the interface between ZnO nanorods and a conducting substrate is experimentally demonstrated using a femtosecond-laser (fs-laser)-induced plasmonic ZnO/Ag photoelectrodes. This fs-laser fabrication technique can be applied to generate patternable plasmonic nanostructures for improving their effectiveness in hydrogen generation. Plasmonic ZnO/Ag nanostructure photoelectrodes show an increase in the photocurrent of a ZnO nanorod photoelectrodes by higher than 85% at 0.5 V. Both localized surface plasmon resonance in metal nanoparticles and plasmon polaritons propagating at the metal/semiconductor interface are available for improving the capture of sunlight and collecting charge carriers. Furthermore, in-situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy is performed to monitor the plasmonic-generating electromagnetic field upon the interface between ZnO/Ag nanostructures. This can reveal induced vacancies on the conduction band of ZnO, which allow effective separation of charge carriers and improves the efficiency of hydrogen generation. Plasmon-induced effects enhance the photoresponse simultaneously, by improving optical absorbance and facilitating the separation of charge carriers. Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2926-2936
Number of pages11
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Ag
  • femtosecond-laser direct-write
  • hydrogen generation
  • plasmonics
  • silver oxide
  • ZnO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)

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