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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2015 Oct 21;7(41):22727-40. doi: 10.1021/acsami.5b04267. Epub 2015 Oct 8.

Modification Strategies with Inorganic Acids for Efficient Photocatalysts by Promoting the Adsorption of O2.

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Key Laboratory of Functional Inorganic Material Chemistry (Heilongjiang University), Ministry of Education, School of Chemistry and Materials Science, International Joint Research Center for Catalytic Technology , Harbin 150080, People's Republic of China.


Efficient photocatalysis for degrading environmental organic pollutants on semiconductors requires photogenerated charge carrier separation to drive the photochemical processes. To ensure charge separation, it is indispensable to make charges captured effectively. Generally, the step for capturing the photogenerated electrons by the surface adsorbed O2 is relatively slow as compared to that for capturing holes by the surface adsorbed hydroxyl groups so that it is taken as the rate-determining step. However, it is frequently neglected. Thus, it is greatly desired to develop feasible strategies to promote the adsorption of O2 for efficient photocatalysts. In this paper, we have mainly discussed surface modification with inorganic acids, such as H3PO4, HF, and H3BO3, to enhance photogenerated charge carrier separation based on oxygen adsorption promotion for photocatalytic degradation of environmental pollutants. Among these acids, the function and mechanism of H3PO4 are highlighted because of its good performance and universality. Several important photocatalyst systems, mainly including TiO2, α-Fe2O3, and g-C3N4, along with the nanostructured carbons as electron acceptors in nanocomposites, are addressed to improve the ability to adsorb O2. A key consideration in this review is the development of a strategy for the promotion of adsorbed O2 for efficient photocatalysts, along with the process mechanisms by revealing the relationships among the adsorbed O2, photogenerated charge carrier separation, and photocatalytic performance. Interestingly, it is suggested that the enrichment in surface acidity be favorable for promotion of O2 adsorption, leading to the improved charge carrier separation and then to the enhanced photoactivities of various semiconductor photocatalysts. Moreover, several outlooks are put forward.


adsorbed O2; inorganic acid; photocatalyst; photogenerated charge separation; surface modification


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