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Hot Electrons Detected at Solid-Liquid Interfaces 게시판 상세보기
Title Hot Electrons Detected at Solid-Liquid Interfaces
Embargo date 2016-07-12 12:00 Hits 2542
Research Center Center for Nanomaterials and Chemical Reactions
Press release  
att.  

Hot Electrons Detected at Solid-Liquid Interfaces

- Findings from the IBS Center for Nanomaterials & Chemical Reactions published as the cover story in Angewandte Chemie -

July 12, 2016

As seen in diverse applications, such as the refinement of petrol, their use in batteries and fuel cells for electric cars and to aid in the cleanup of hazardous agricultural waste, a variety of catalysts are in constant development to fulfill economic and environmental demands. To maximize the catalytic reaction, a great deal of research effort is made to reveal its mechanism. As a key to understanding catalysis, hot electrons are of great interest in the field.

The IBS team led by group leader PARK Jeong Young, reported the direct detection of hot electrons generated at a solid-liquid interface during an exothermic reaction on the surface of metal-semiconductor nanodiodes. This is the first time a research team has succeeded in detecting hot electrons in a liquid interface.


▲ Front cover featured in Angewandte Chemie

In general, hot electrons gain very high kinetic energy from external energy sources such as electromagnetic radiation or an exothermic chemical reaction. They are created in the course of the chemical reactions and can be detected using a catalytic nanodiode consisting of a thin film of a catalytic metal deposited onto a semiconductor support. As the metal thickness is smaller than the electron mean-free path, hot electrons can reach the metal–semiconductor boundary without significant attenuation and generate an electric current, known as the chemicurrent.

The research team confirmed the first observation of the hot electrons through the exothermic catalytic reaction occurring at the liquid phase. Previous findings were limited to observing hot electrons in gas-solid interfaces which diluted their generation efficiency; the atomic density of liquid is 1000 times higher than that of gas (1 atmospheric pressure).

The study has long-reaching implications for the commercial use of implementing hot electrons as catalysts. Corresponding author Professor Park explained: "Hot electrons are the key element in the fundamental understanding of catalysis. This finding may lead to highly efficient catalytic devices, which will allow for diverse applications in liquid phase such as a fuel cell and artificial photosynthesis."


▲ Experiment overview
a) Principle of detecting hot electrons during hydrogen peroxidebdecomposition on a metal/n-Si nanodiode. The basic process involves 1) excitation of a hot electron followed by 2) ballistic transport across the metal–semiconductor contact.
b) Typical current–voltage curves measured on the metal/n-Si nanodiodes with Pt, Ag, and Au catalytic films.

The team found that catalytic decomposition of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) on varied metal catalysts exhibits the hot electron flows up to 10-1 electrons per product molecule, which is much higher than previously published data for solid-gas reactions on similar nanodiodes. According to their manuscript, published online on July 4 in Angewandte Chemie, and selected as the featured cover story, "the possibility of detecting hot electrons generated by non-adiabatic energy dissipation can be also used with other exothermic reactions at the liquid–metal interface. Remarkably, the chemicurrent allows the surface reaction and the state of the catalyst to be monitored in real time."

Park stressed "Many electron-based techniques of surface science are only capable of operating in a vacuum or at low gas pressures. Since this study enables to trigger both the creation and detection of chemicurrent inside the nanodiode, our approach is not limited to specific environmental conditions.”

Thus, this provides a highly sensitive and powerful tool for studying the processes of energy and charge transfer at the interface between liquids and metals. The findings may be of interest for a variety of applications including catalysis, electrochemistry, and environmental chemistry.

Notes for editors

- References
Ievgen I. Nedrygailov, Changhwan Lee, Song Yi Moon, Hyosun Lee, and Jeong Young Park Hot Electrons at Solid–Liquid Interfaces: A Large Chemoelectric Effect during the Catalytic Decomposition of Hydrogen Peroxide (2016) Angewandte Chemie, DOI: 10.1002/anie.201603225

- Media Contact
For further information or to request media assistance, please contact: Mr. Shi Bo Shim, Head of Department of Communications; Institute for Basic Science (+82-42-878-8189; sibo@ibs.re.kr) or Ms. Dahee Carol Kim, Department of Communications; Institute for Basic Science (+82-42-878-8133; clitie620@ibs.re)

- About the Institute for Basic Science (IBS)
IBS was founded in 2011 by the government of the Republic of Korea with the sole purpose of driving forward the development of basic science in South Korea It comprises a total of 50 research centers in all fields of basic science, including mathematics, physics, chemistry, life science, earth science and interdisciplinary science. IBS has launched 26 research centers as of July 2016. There are eight physics, one mathematics, six chemistry, eight life science, and three interdisciplinary research centers.

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