Nat Commun. 2022 Oct 17;13(1):6144. doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-33818-4.
The greatest challenge that limits the application of pyro-catalytic materials is the lack of highly frequent thermal cycling due to the enormous heat capacity of ambient environment, resulting in low pyro-catalytic efficiency. Here, we introduce localized plasmonic heat sources to rapidly yet efficiently heat up pyro-catalytic material itself without wasting energy to raise the surrounding temperature, triggering a significantly expedited pyro-catalytic reaction and enabling multiple pyro-catalytic cycling per unit time. In our work, plasmonic metal/pyro-catalyst composite is fabricated by in situ grown gold nanoparticles on three-dimensional structured coral-like BaTiO3 nanoparticles, which achieves a high hydrogen production rate of 133.1 ± 4.4 μmol·g-1·h-1 under pulsed laser irradiation. We also use theoretical analysis to study the effect of plasmonic local heating on pyro-catalysis. The synergy between plasmonic local heating and pyro-catalysis will bring new opportunities in pyro-catalysis for pollutant treatment, clean energy production, and biological applications.