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Phys Chem Chem Phys. 2013 Feb 28;15(8):2632-49. doi: 10.1039/c2cp43524a. Epub 2013 Jan 16.

Semiconductor-based nanocomposites for photocatalytic H2 production and CO2 conversion.

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  • 1State Key Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces, Department of Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen, 361005, China.


Semiconductor-based photocatalysis has attracted much attention in recent years because of its potential for solving energy and environmental problems that we are now facing. Among many photocatalytic reactions, the splitting of H(2)O into H(2) and O(2) and the reduction of CO(2) with H(2)O into organic compounds such as CH(4) and CH(3)OH are two of the most important and challenging reactions. Many studies have been devoted to designing and preparing novel photocatalytic materials for these two reactions. This article highlights recent advances in developing semiconductor-based nanocomposite photocatalysts for the production of H(2) and the reduction of CO(2). The systems of semiconductor-cocatalyst, semiconductor-carbon (carbon nanotube or graphene) and semiconductor-semiconductor nanocomposites have mainly been described. It has been demonstrated that the design and preparation of nanocomposites with proper structures can facilitate charge separation/migration and decrease the charge recombination probability, thus promoting the photocatalytic activity. Keeping the reduction and oxidation processes in different regions in the nanocomposite may also enhance the photocatalytic efficiency and stability. The location and size of cocatalysts, the interfacial contact between semiconductor and carbon materials, and the heterojunctions between different semiconductors together with the suitable alignment of band edges of semiconductors are key factors determining the photocatalytic behaviours of the nanocomposite catalysts.

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