Shining light on silver nanoparticles for catalysis
Silver nanoparticles have unique photo-active properties. I exploited these to improve the sustainability of reactions using light.
Careful design of chemical products and processes can help reducing the environmental footprint. Green chemistry doesn't focus on making new products or reactions, we aim at producing useful chemicals more sustainably.
As photosynthesis, photo-catalysis uses light to trigger chemical transformation. Plants harvest sunlight to make sugar and grow, we use LEDs to transform molecules into commonly used products useful in the industry.
Very small aggregates of atoms at the nanometer scale (10 ⁻⁹ m) are called nanoparticles. When gold or silver are used, they are specific interactions with light, they absorb and reflect light like no other metals!
Thanks to their very unique interactions with light, plasmonic nanoparticles can be used to mediate chemical transformations using light as a trigger. These photo-catalyzed reactions allow to save energy because no high pressure and temperatures are required to drive the reaction but also to use greener chemicals.
Surface-plasmon-mediated hydrogenation of
carbonyls catalyzed by silver nanocubes
under visible light
ACS Catal 2017
Applications of Plasmon-Enhanced Nanocatalysis to Organic Transformations
Water splitting catalyzed by titanium dioxide decorated with plasmonic nanoparticles
Pure App 2017
Plasmonic nanoparticles: photocatalysts with a bright future
Curr Op Green Chem 2018