Toward polaritonic (electro) catalytic materials: exploring the production of H2 from H2Ostrong-coupled with light – without light.

It is well known that the structure of the materials can be engineered to interact with light. What is less known is that, in some cases, this interaction can be so strong that physical and chemical properties of the system can be modified and this even in absence of light. One emerging strategy to obtain strong coupling consists in designing optical devices called resonators that interact with molecular vibrations in the infrared range. This effect, called vibrational strong-coupling, was proven to lead to surprising modification of the chemical reactivity of homogenous liquid systems in absence of external light. Extending this emerging principle to heterogeneous systems has the potential to make a conceptual breakthrough in heterogeneous (electro)catalysis.

In this project, we aim at providing a decisive step for this quest by investigating the catalytic and electrocatalytic H2 production into plasmonic porous resonators in which H2O molecules are strongly coupled with light and this, without applying any external light. To do so, three partners with complementary expertise (material chemistry, quantum physics, simulation and catalysis) will team-up to fabricate the devices to unveil the effect of light-matter strong coupling on the catalytic and electrocatalytic H2 production.

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