Solar Hydrogen Production by Plasmonic Au-TiO2 Catalysts: Impact of Synthesis Protocol and TiO2 Phase on Charge Transfer Efficiency and H2 Evolution Rates

Jacqueline B. Priebe, Jörg Radnik, Alastair J J Lennox, Marga Martina Pohl, Michael Karnahl, Dirk Hollmann, Kathleen Grabow, Ursula Bentrup, Henrik Junge, Matthias Beller, Angelika Brückner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

133 Citations (Scopus)


The activity of plasmonic Au-TiO2 catalysts for solar hydrogen production from H2O/MeOH mixtures was found to depend strongly on the support phase (anatase, rutile, brookite, or composites thereof) as well as on specific structural properties caused by the method of Au deposition (sol-immobilization, photodeposition, or deposition-precipitation). Structural and electronic rationale have been identified for this behavior. Using a combination of spectroscopic in situ techniques (EPR, XANES, and UV-vis spectroscopy), the formation of plasmonic Au particles from precursor species was monitored, and the charge-carrier separation and stabilization under photocatalytic conditions was explored in relation to H2 evolution rates. By in situ EPR spectroscopy, it was directly shown that abundant surface vacancies and surface OH groups enhance the stabilization of separated electrons and holes, whereas the enrichment of Ti3+ in the support lattice hampers an efficient electron transport. Under the given experimental conditions, these properties were most efficiently generated by depositing gold particles on anatase/rutile composites using the deposition-precipitation technique. (Graph Presented).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2137-2148
Number of pages12
JournalACS Catalysis
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2015


  • hydrogen generation
  • in situ spectroscopy
  • photocatalysis
  • surface plasmon resonance
  • titanium dioxide

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