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Rodal-Cedeira, Sergio; Montes-Garcia, Verónica; Polavarapu, Lakshminarayana; Solis, Diego Martinez; Heidari, Hamed; La Porta, Andrea; Angiola, Marco; Martucci, Alessandro; Taboada, José M.; Obelleiro, Fernando; Bals, Sara; Pérez-Juste, Jorge and Pastoriza-Santos, Isabel (2016): Plasmonic Au@Pd Nanorods with Boosted Refractive Index Susceptibility and SERS Efficiency: A Multifunctional Platform for Hydrogen Sensing and Monitoring of Catalytic Reactions. In: Chemistry of Materials, Vol. 28, No. 24: pp. 9169-9180

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Palladium nanoparticles (NPs) have received tremendous attention over the years due to their high catalytic activity for various chemical reactions. However, unlike other noble metal nanoparticles such as Au and Ag NPs, they exhibit poor plasmonic properties with broad extinction spectra and less scattering efficiency, and thus limiting their applications in the field of plasmonics. Therefore, it has been challenging to integrate tunable and strong plasmonic properties into catalytic Pd nanoparticles. Here we show that plasmonic Au@Pd nanorods (NRs) with relatively narrow and remarkably tunable optical responses in the NIR region can be obtained by directional growth of Pd on penta-twinned Au NR seeds. We found the presence of bromide ions facilitates the stabilization of facets for the directional growth of Pd shell to obtain Au@Pd nanorods (NR) with controlled length scales. Interestingly, it turns out the Au NR supported Pd NRs exhibit much narrow extinction compared to pure Pd NRs, which makes them suitable for plasmonic sensing applications. Moreover, these nanostructures display, to the best of our knowledge, one of the highest ensemble refractive index sensitivity values reported to date (1067 nm per refractive index unit, RIU). Additionally, we showed the application of such plasmonic Au@Pd NRs for localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR)-based sensing of hydrogen both in solution as well as on substrate. Finally, we demonstrate the integration of excellent plasmonic properties in catalytic palladium enables the in situ monitoring of a reaction progress by surface-enhanced Raman scattering. We postulate the proposed approach to boost the plasmonic properties, of Pd nanoparticles will ignite the design of complex shaped plasmonic Pd NPs to be used in various plasmonic applications such as sensing and in situ monitoring of various chemical reactions.

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