Proposed Plan of Graduate Study. Ricardo Romo The project selected for my graduate study links local electric field maps, photocatalysis, and electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS). The main goal of this project is to distinguish respective contributions of plasmonic heating and hot electron transfer in nanoantenna (NA)-transition metal dichalcogenides (TMD) heterostructures to decreasing the chemical reactionenergy of sustainable Hydrogen (H2) photocatalysis. Enhancement in photocatalysis of hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) has been attributed to both plasmonic heating as well as to electron charge transfer effects. My research group recently showed that electrochemical reduction of NA directly to TMD edges enhances hot…show more content… I will: (i) introduce modifications that account for hot electron transfer from nanoantenna to TMD; (ii) couple these calculations with simulation of HER photocatalysis; and (iii) use finite element analysis to determine local heating from plasmonic phonon dissipation. I will compare simulations with data from EELS, optical spectroscopy, infrared thermometry and voltammetry to distinguish effects of plasmonic heating and hot electron transfer on enhancement of H2 photocatalysis.
The physicochemically bonded NA will be characterize by using optical and scanning transmission electron spectroscopy (STEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), atomic force microscopy and Raman spectroscopy. This will improve understanding of photoinduced doping of TMDs by metal nanoantennae, which could benefit emerging catalytic applications. The bonding of the metal nanoantennae and the TMD together is a key determinant for transporting and accessing electrons, which can be characterized via EELS. This research will lay a foundation for future researchers to move forward with alternative energy through photocatalytic H2 dissociation and set the stage for my long-career goal of attaining a professorship with a keen interest of desalination energy. Metal NA can assist with the capture of thermal energy using the