The water-based renewable chemical energy cycle has attracted interest due to its role in replacing existing non-renewable resources and alleviating environmental issues. Utilizing the semi-infinite solar energy source is the most appropriate way to sustain such a water-based energy cycle by producing and feeding hydrogen and oxygen. For production, an efficient photoelectrode is required to effectively perform the photoelectrochemical water splitting reaction. For this purpose, appropriately engineered nanostructures can be introduced into the photoelectrode to enhance light-matter interactions for efficient generation and transport of charges and activation of surface chemical reactions. Plasmon enhanced photoelectrochemical water splitting, whose performance can potentially exceed classical efficiency limits, is of great importance in this respect. Plasmonic gold nanoparticles are widely accepted nanomaterials for such applications because they possess high chemical stability, efficiently absorb visible light unlike many inorganic oxides, and enhance light-matter interactions with localized plasmon relaxation processes. However, our understanding of the physical phenomena behind these particles is still not complete. This review paper focuses on understanding the interfacial phenomena between gold nanoparticles and semiconductors and provides a summary and perspective of recent studies on plasmon enhanced photoelectrochemical water splitting using gold nanoparticles.
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© 2021 The Royal Society of Chemistry.