Covalent organic framework photocatalysts: structures and applications
In the light of increasing energy demand and environmental pollution, it is urgently required to find a clean and renewable energy source. In these years, photocatalysis that uses solar energy for either fuel production, such as hydrogen evolution and hydrocarbon production, or environmental pollutant degradation, has shown great potential to achieve this goal. Among the various photocatalysts, covalent organic frameworks (COFs) are very attractive due to their excellent structural regularity, robust framework, inherent porosity and good activity. Thus, many studies have been carried out to investigate the photocatalytic performance of COFs and COF-based photocatalysts. In this critical review, the recent progress and advances of COF photocatalysts are thoroughly presented. Furthermore, diverse linkers between COF building blocks such as boron-containing connections and nitrogen-containing connections are summarised and compared. The morphologies of COFs and several commonly used strategies pertaining to photocatalytic activity are also discussed. Following this, the applications of COF-based photocatalysts are detailed including photocatalytic hydrogen evolution, CO2 conversion and degradation of environmental contaminants. Finally, a summary and perspective on the opportunities and challenges for the future development of COF and COF-based photocatalysts are given.