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.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
N.W. and Y.B.S. contributed equally to this work. U.B. thanks the Alfred & Erica Larisch memorial chair. Y.B.S. acknowledges support by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Israel. This work was supported in part by the Israel Science Foundation – Alternative Fuels Program Center of Excellence (grant #1867/17).
N.W. and Y.B.S. contributed equally to this work. U.B. thanks the Alfred & Erica Larisch memorial chair. Y.B.S. acknowledges support by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Israel. This work was supported in part by the Israel Science Foundation ? Alternative Fuels Program Center of Excellence (grant #1867/17).
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- 3D printing
- hybrid semiconductor–metal nanoparticles
- photodynamic therapy
- reactive oxygen species