Electrochemical Imaging of Photoanodic Water Oxidation Enhancements on TiO2 Thin Films Modified by Subsurface Aluminum Nanodimers

Xuan Zhou, Zachary T. Gossage, Burton H. Simpson, Jingshu Hui, Zachary J. Barton, Joaquín Rodríguez-López

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Detecting metal plasmonic enhancements on the activity of semiconducting photoanodes for water oxidation is often obscured by the inherent electroactivity and instability of the metal in electrolyte. Here, we show that thin TiO2 photoanodes modified by subsurface Al nanodimers (AlNDs) display enhancements that are consistent with plasmon modes. We directly observed enhancements by mapping the oxygen evolution rates on TiO2/AlND patterns using scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM) while exciting the surface plasmons of the nanodimers. This study highlights the importance of sample configuration for the in situ characterization of metal/photoanode interactions and suggests a route for Al-based plasmonics applied to photoelectrochemistry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9346-9352
Number of pages7
JournalACS Nano
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 25 2016


  • aluminum nanoparticles
  • oxygen evolution
  • scanning electrochemical microscopy
  • surface plasmons
  • thin film
  • water oxidation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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