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Issue 7, 2019
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Artificial photosynthesis: opportunities and challenges of molecular catalysts

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Abstract

Molecular catalysis plays an essential role in both natural and artificial photosynthesis (AP). However, the field of molecular catalysis for AP has gradually declined in recent years because of doubt about the long-term stability of molecular-catalyst-based devices. This review summarizes the development history of molecular-catalyst-based AP, including the fundamentals of AP, molecular catalysts for water oxidation, proton reduction and CO2 reduction, and molecular-catalyst-based AP devices, and it provides an analysis of the advantages, challenges, and stability of molecular catalysts. With this review, we aim to highlight the following points: (i) an investigation on molecular catalysis is one of the most promising ways to obtain atom-efficient catalysts with outstanding intrinsic activities; (ii) effective heterogenization of molecular catalysts is currently the primary challenge for the application of molecular catalysis in AP devices; (iii) development of molecular catalysts is a promising way to solve the problems of catalysis involved in practical solar fuel production. In molecular-catalysis-based AP, much has been attained, but more challenges remain with regard to long-term stability and heterogenization techniques.

Graphical abstract: Artificial photosynthesis: opportunities and challenges of molecular catalysts

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Article information


Submitted
12 Nov 2018
First published
21 Mar 2019

This article is Open Access

Chem. Soc. Rev., 2019,48, 2216-2264
Article type
Review Article

Artificial photosynthesis: opportunities and challenges of molecular catalysts

B. Zhang and L. Sun, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2019, 48, 2216
DOI: 10.1039/C8CS00897C

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material and it is not used for commercial purposes.

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    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
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    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

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