Dynamic and Catalytic Properties of Some Metallic Nanoparticles
Hathcock, David Jackson
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Using a variety of techniques including femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopy, optical absorption, atomic force microscopy, the hot electron cooling dynamics of lithographically prepared gold nanoarrays, the effect of the surrounding environment, and the phonon oscillations of gold and silver nano-arrays were investigated. The cooling dynamics of gold nanoarrays on a glass substrate were found to be different from those of either colloidal nanodots in colloidal solution or films on glass substrate. The electron-phonon component of the electronic relaxation in the arrays was found to be longer than that in the dots or the films. The spatially isolated nanoarray particles experience a significantly different environment than the gold nanodots in solution, thus the long phonon-phonon component resulting from the coupling of particles to the medium, is not observed. The catalytic effectiveness of platinum nanoparticles for the hydrogenation of propene was investigated. The system with platinum particles was found to have a slightly lower activation energy than other systems in the literature. The effect of encapsulating the platinum particles in alumina was also investigated and it was found that the activation energy for the reaction was even lower. The effect of adding platinum, palladium, and rhodium particles to the proton exchange membrane of polymer electrolyte fuel cells, on the output power of the cells was also investigated. The effects of pH and precursor salt concentration, and particle composition were also investigated.