Photocatalytic Hybrid Semiconductor–Metal Nanoparticles; from Synergistic Properties to Emerging Applications

Nir Waiskopf, Yuval Ben-Shahar, Uri Banin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


Hybrid semiconductor–metal nanoparticles (HNPs) manifest unique combined and often synergetic properties stemming from the materials combination. These structures exhibit spatial charge separation across the semiconductor–metal junction upon light absorption, enabling their use as photocatalysts. So far, the main impetus of photocatalysis research in HNPs addresses their functionality in solar fuel generation. Recently, it was discovered that HNPs are functional in efficient photocatalytic generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). This has opened the path for their implementation in diverse biomedical and industrial applications where high spatially temporally resolved ROS formation is essential. Here, the latest studies on the synergistic characteristics of HNPs are summarized, including their optical, electrical, and chemical properties and their photocatalytic function in the field of solar fuel generation is briefly discussed. Recent studies are then focused concerning photocatalytic ROS formation with HNPs under aerobic conditions. The emergent applications of this capacity are then highlighted, including light-induced modulation of enzymatic activity, photodynamic therapy, antifouling, wound healing, and as novel photoinitiators for 3D-printing. The superb photophysical and photocatalytic properties of HNPs offer already clear advantages for their utility in scenarios requiring on-demand light-induced radical formation and the full potential of HNPs in this context is yet to be revealed.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number1706697
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number41
StatePublished - 11 Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • 3D printing
  • hybrid semiconductor–metal nanoparticles
  • photocatalysis
  • photodynamic therapy
  • reactive oxygen species


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