Although photosynthesis underpins life on earth, photochemical technologies are yet to make an impact on our modern lives. Meanwhile photovoltaics is a mature and successful industry that shares a common theme with photochemistry – both rely on energetic electrons and holes; in the former to generate electrical power and in the latter to drive redox reactions. The EPSRC funded Reactive Plasmonics Project, led by King’s and Imperial, explores the science of hot carriers generated by light absorption within metals and semiconductors. Remarkably, metals sustain electrons and holes at temperature of many thousands of degrees Kelvin, while the host material remains near ambient conditions. This phenomenon activates a variety of thermodynamically unfavourable electronic and chemical processes with applications in photodetection, sensing and catalysis. The UK Catalysis Hub and Reactive Plasmonics Group held a joint workshop to try to find synergies between the two research areas. The programme included presentations from the Reactive Plasmonics project members and Prof. Richard Catlow, a tour of the facilities and interactive breakout sessions on Photocatalysis and CO2, Reaction Pathway, Particle Size or different scales in catalysis and plasmonics. Throughout the day there was much discussion about possible areas of interaction and collaboration between the academic groups.
Read more about it at http://www.reactiveplasmonics.org/news/joint-rplas-catalysis-hub-meeting/