Excited-state dynamics of size-dependent colloidal TiO2-Au nanocomposites

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© 2016 AIP Publishing LLC. The ultrafast excited-state dynamics of size-dependent TiO2-Au nanocomposites synthesized by reducing gold nanoclusters to the surface of colloidal TiO2 nanoparticles are studied using pump-probe transient absorption spectroscopy with 400 nm excitation pulses. The results show that the relaxation processes of the plasmon depletion band, which are described by electron-phonon and phonon-phonon scattering lifetimes, are independent of the gold nanocluster shell size surrounding the TiO2 nanoparticle core. The dynamics corresponding to interfacial electron transfer between the gold nanoclusters and the TiO2 bandgap are observed to spectrally overlap with the gold interband transition signal, and the electron transfer lifetimes are shown to significantly decrease as the nanocluster shell size increases. Additionally, size-dependent periodic oscillations are observed and are attributed to acoustic phonons of a porous shell composed of aggregated gold nanoclusters around the TiO2 core, with frequencies that decrease and damping times that remain constant as the nanocluster shell size increases. These results are important for the development of improved catalytic nanomaterial applications.

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Journal of Chemical Physics

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