Comparing steady state photothermalization dynamics in copper and gold nanostructures
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Metal nanostructures have been the focus of several recent studies due to their ability to generate high energy, non-equilibrium "hot" electrons for use in photochemical and photocatalytic applications. In particular, there is growing interest to understand how differences in the electronic structure and optical response of different metals may impact the behavior and utility of their hot electrons in chemical reactions. Using a continuous wave anti-Stokes Raman spectroscopy technique recently developed in our laboratory, in this study, we measured the temperature and lifetime of hot electrons in gold and copper nanostructures in order to understand how the choice of metal impacts hot electron dynamics during steady state illumination. We found that hot electrons in copper are more abundant and more reactive than those in gold, suggesting that copper nanostructures may be a more promising platform for performing hot electron photochemistry.
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