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Pure Appl. Chem., 2011, Vol. 83, No. 4, pp. 913-930

Published online 2011-03-14

Tuning plasmon transitions and their applications in organic photochemistry

Juan C. Scaiano*, José C. Netto-Ferreira, Emilio Alarcon, Paul Billone, Carlos J. Bueno Alejo, Charles-Oneil L. Crites, Matthew Decan, Chiara Fasciani, María González-Béjar, Geniece Hallett-Tapley, Michel Grenier, Katherine L. McGilvray, Natalia L. Pacioni, Andrea Pardoe, Laetitia René-Boisneuf, Rachel Schwartz-Narbonne, M. Jazmín Silvero, Kevin G. Stamplecoskie and Tse-Luen Wee

Department of Chemistry, Centre for Catalysis Research and Innovation, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5, Canada

Abstract: The ketone-photoinduced formation of Au, Ag, and Cu nanoparticles from their corresponding ions in solution has been carried out using benzoin photoinitiators. Ketones are good photosensitizers for nanoparticle synthesis not because of the energy they can absorb or deliver, but rather because of the reducing free radicals they can generate. Efficient photochemical nanoparticle generation thus requires a careful selection of substrates and experimental conditions such that free radical generation occurs with high quantum efficiency, where metal ion precursors do not inhibit radical formation. A key consideration to achieve nanoparticle synthesis with short exposure times is to minimize excited-state quenching by metal ions. Applications of nanostructures in catalysis require control of the nanoparticle characteristics, such as dimension, morphology, and surface properties. Part of this article describes the strategies to modify photochemically prepared particles. Finally, we illustrate some of the nanoparticle applications that interest us, with some emphasis on plasmon-mediated processes.