Universal Scaling and Design Rules of Hydrogen-Induced Optical Properties in Pd and Pd-Alloy Nanoparticles
Journal article, 2018
Hydride-forming metal nanoparticles sustaining localized surface plasmon resonance have emerged as prototypical material to study the fundamentals of hydrogen-induced phase transformations. They have also been proposed as signal transducers in next-generation hydrogen sensors. However, despite high current interest in hydrogen sorption by nanomaterials in general and such sensors in particular, the correlations between nanoparticle size, shape, and composition, the amount of hydrogen absorbed, and the obtained optical response have not been systematically experimentally studied. Focusing on hydrogenated Pd, PdAu- and PdCu-alloy nanoparticles, which are of particular interest in hysteresis-free plasmonic hydrogen sensing, we find that at practically important Au/Pd and Cu/Pd ratios the optical response to hydrogen concentration is linear and, more interestingly, can be described by a single universal linear trend if constructed as a function of the H/Pd ratio, independent of alloy composition. In addition to this correlation, we establish that the amplitude of optical signal change is defined solely by the spectral plasmon resonance position in the non-hydrogenated state for a specific nanoparticle composition. Thus, it can be maximized by red-shifting the LSPR into the NIR spectral range via tailoring the particle size and shape. These findings further establish plasmonic sensing as an effective tool for studying metal–hydrogen interactions in nanoparticles of complex chemical composition. They also represent universal design rules for metal-hydride-based plasmonic hydrogen sensors, and our theoretical analysis predicts that they are applicable not only to the H/Pd/Au or H/Pd/Cu system investigated here but also to other H/Pd/Metal combinations.