Nanophotocatalysts via microwave-assisted solution-phase synthesis for efficient photocatalysis
Nanostructured photocatalysts have attracted considerable interest due to their wide range of applications in processes such as organic pollutant degradation, heavy metal reduction, air and water purification, hydrogen production, etc. Pursuing high catalytic efficiency is the foremost goal in the field. One of the current key issues is to search for suitable photocatalysts to enhance light harvesting in the UV or visible light region. In this treatise, the microwave-assisted solution-phase synthesis of various nanomaterials including semiconductor oxides and sulfides, Bi-based oxides, as well as nanocomposites including carbon nanotube-based and graphene-based composites is systematically presented with demonstrations of the advantages of the microwave-assisted process over traditional synthesis methods including solid state or vapor reactions and hydrothermal or solvothermal processes. Application of these nanomaterials as photocatalysts for the degradation of pollutants in water or air, removal of Cr(VI) as well as hydrogen evolution is also demonstrated, showing the improved photocatalytic activities compared with the ones synthesized via traditional methods.