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Huettenhofer, Ludwig; Eckmann, Felix; Lauri, Alberto; Cambiasso, Javier; Pensa, Evangelina; Li, Yi; Cortes, Emiliano; Sharp, Ian D.; Maier, Stefan A. (2020): Anapole Excitations in Oxygen-Vacancy-Rich TiO2-x Nanoresonators: Tuning the Absorption for Photocatalysis in the Visible Spectrum. In: ACS Nano, Vol. 14, No. 2: pp. 2456-2464
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Research on optically resonant dielectric nanostructures has accelerated the development of photonic applications, driven by their ability to strongly confine light on the nanoscale. However, as dielectric resonators are typically operated below their band gap to minimize optical losses, the usage of dielectric nanoantenna concepts for absorption enhancement has largely remained unexplored. In this work, we realize engineered nanoantennas composed of photocatalytic dielectrics and demonstrate increased light-harvesting capabilities in otherwise weakly absorptive spectral regions. In particular, we employ anapole excitations, which are known for their strong light confinement, in nanodisks of oxygen-vacancy-rich TiO2-x a prominent photocatalyst that provides a powerful platform for exploring concepts in absorption enhancement in tunable nanostructures. The arising photocatalytic effect is monitored on the single particle level using the well-established photocatalytic silver reduction reaction on TiO2. With the freedom of changing the optical properties of TiO2 through tuning the abundance of V-o states, we discuss the interplay between cavity damping and the anapole-assisted field confinement for absorption enhancement. This concept is general and can be extended to other catalytic materials with higher refractive indices.