Photocatalytic materials: recent achievements and near future trends
Research on photocatalytic materials has been a field in continuous expansion in the recent decades, as it is evidenced by the large number of articles published every year. So far, more than 190 different semiconductors have been assayed as suitable photocatalysts. To this figure, it is necessary to add the combinations with other functional materials or between different semiconductors, as well as their morphological modifications. Summing up the outcome of these different preparation strategies eventually leads to the enormous number of photocatalytic systems that have been reported in the scientific literature. Dealing with such an amount of information requires updated and educated guidance to select the most significant realizations, and it also calls for critical assessments on how the expectations are being fulfilled. This perspective article intends to assess the state of the art of photocatalysis with regard to materials and systems, considering the well-established results, but also the emerging aspects, and the envisaged new directions of this technology in the near future. In the first part, the most relevant achievements in this area, some of them already in the market while others still in development, will be reviewed according to the current understanding. The second part of the article is devoted to the most innovative and promising photocatalysts and related systems described in the open literature.
- This article is part of the themed collections: JMC A Top Picks collection: Harnessing the power of the sun and The 30 most accessed articles in Journal of Materials Chemistry A in 2014