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Creators/Authors contains: "Hayee, Fariah"

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  1. Nanoparticle surface structure and geometry generally dictate where chemical transformations occur, with higher chemical activity at sites with lower activation energies. Here, we show how optical excitation of plasmons enables spatially modified phase transformations, activating otherwise energetically unfavorable sites. We have designed a crossed-bar Au-PdHxantenna-reactor system that localizes electromagnetic enhancement away from the innately reactive PdHxnanorod tips. Using optically coupled in situ environmental transmission electron microscopy, we track the dehydrogenation of individual antenna-reactor pairs with varying optical illumination intensity, wavelength, and hydrogen pressure. Our in situ experiments show that plasmons enable new catalytic sites, including dehydrogenation at the nanorod faces. Molecular dynamics simulations confirm that these new nucleation sites are energetically unfavorable in equilibrium and only accessible through tailored plasmonic excitation.