by Farah Kawtharani, Svetlana Mintova, Richard Retoux, Mehran Mostafavi, Guy Buntinx and Vincent De Waele
CHEMPHYSCHEM 2020, 21, 2634-2643; doi.org/10.1002/cphc.202000822
Silver cations were introduced in nanosized BEA‐type zeolite containing organic template by ion‐exchange followed by chemical reduction towards preparation of photoactive materials (Ag0‐BEA). The stabilization of highly dispersed Ag0 nanoparticles with a size of 1–2 nm in the BEA zeolite was revealed. The transient optical response of the Ag‐BEA samples upon photoexcitation at 400 nm was studied by femtosecond absorption. The photodynamic of the hot electrons was found to depend on the sample preparation. The lifetime of the hot electrons in the Ag−BEA samples containing small Ag nanoparticles (1–2 nm) is significantly shortened in comparison to bear Ag nanoparticles with a size of 10 nm. While for the larger Ag nanoparticles, the energy absorbed in the conduction band is decaying by electron‐phonon coupling into the metal lattice, the high surface‐to‐volume ratio of the small Ag nanoparticles favors the dissipation of the energy of the hot electrons from the metal nanoparticles (Ag0) towards the zeolitic micro‐environment. This finding is encouraging for further applications of Ag‐containing zeolites in photocatalysis and plasmonic chemistry.