Fundamentals and applications of photo-thermal catalysis†
Photo-thermal catalysis has recently emerged as an alternative route to drive chemical reactions using light as an energy source. Through the synergistic combination of photo- and thermo-chemical contributions of sunlight, photo-thermal catalysis has the potential to enhance reaction rates and to change selectivity patterns, even under moderate operation conditions. This review provides the fundamentals of localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) that explain the photo-thermal effect in plasmonic structures, describes the different mechanistic pathways underlying photo-thermal catalysis, suggests methodologies to disentangle the reaction mechanisms and proposes material design strategies to improve photo-thermal performance. Ultimately, the goal is to pave the way for the wide implementation of this promising technology in the production of synthetic fuels and chemicals.