Photocatalytic nanomotors have attracted a lot of attention because of their unique capacity to simultaneously convert light and chemical energy into mechanical motion with a fast photoresponse. Recent discoveries demonstrate that the integration of optical and magnetic components within a single nanomotor platform offers novel advantages for precise motion control and enhanced photocatalytic performance. Despite these advancements, the impact of magnetic fields on energy transfer dynamics in photocatalytic nanomotors remains unexplored. Here, we introduce dual-responsive rod-like nanomotors, made of a TiO2/NiFe heterojunction, able to (i) self-propel upon irradiation, (ii) align with the direction of an external magnetic field, and (iii) exhibit enhanced photocatalytic performance. Consequently, when combining light irradiation with a homogeneous magnetic field, these nanomotors exhibit increased velocities attributed to their improved photoactivity. As a proof-of-concept, we investigated the ability of these nanomotors to generate phenol, a valuable chemical feedstock, from benzene under combined optical and magnetic fields. Remarkably, the application of an external magnetic field led to a 100% increase in the photocatalytic phenol generation in comparison with light activation alone. By using various state-of-the-art techniques such as photoelectrochemistry, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, photoluminescence, and electron paramagnetic resonance, we characterized the charge transfer between the semiconductor and the alloy component, revealing that the magnetic field significantly improved charge pair separation and enhanced hydroxyl radical generation. Consequently, our work provides valuable insights into the role of magnetic fields in the mechanisms of light-driven photocatalytic nanomotors for designing more effective light-driven nanodevices for selective oxidations.

Boosting the Efficiency of Photoactive Rod-Shaped Nanomotors via Magnetic Field-Induced Charge Separation

Maria Chiara Spadaro;
2024-01-01

Abstract

Photocatalytic nanomotors have attracted a lot of attention because of their unique capacity to simultaneously convert light and chemical energy into mechanical motion with a fast photoresponse. Recent discoveries demonstrate that the integration of optical and magnetic components within a single nanomotor platform offers novel advantages for precise motion control and enhanced photocatalytic performance. Despite these advancements, the impact of magnetic fields on energy transfer dynamics in photocatalytic nanomotors remains unexplored. Here, we introduce dual-responsive rod-like nanomotors, made of a TiO2/NiFe heterojunction, able to (i) self-propel upon irradiation, (ii) align with the direction of an external magnetic field, and (iii) exhibit enhanced photocatalytic performance. Consequently, when combining light irradiation with a homogeneous magnetic field, these nanomotors exhibit increased velocities attributed to their improved photoactivity. As a proof-of-concept, we investigated the ability of these nanomotors to generate phenol, a valuable chemical feedstock, from benzene under combined optical and magnetic fields. Remarkably, the application of an external magnetic field led to a 100% increase in the photocatalytic phenol generation in comparison with light activation alone. By using various state-of-the-art techniques such as photoelectrochemistry, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, photoluminescence, and electron paramagnetic resonance, we characterized the charge transfer between the semiconductor and the alloy component, revealing that the magnetic field significantly improved charge pair separation and enhanced hydroxyl radical generation. Consequently, our work provides valuable insights into the role of magnetic fields in the mechanisms of light-driven photocatalytic nanomotors for designing more effective light-driven nanodevices for selective oxidations.
2024
charge transfer
dual-responsive nanomotors
magnetic properties
photoactive nanomotors
photocatalysis
selective oxidations
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/616829
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 0
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact