Progress and challenges in photocatalytic ammonia synthesis
Photocatalytic ammonia (NH3) synthesis from N2 and water driven by solar energy is a sustainable and environmentally friendly technology, which has gained considerable attention in recent years. In this review, the recent development in the fundamental understanding of photocatalytic NH3 synthesis and the methods of precise NH3 detection are summarized. More importantly the strategy for surface engineering and interface engineering of photocatalysts toward photocatalytic NH3 production has been thoroughly analyzed with the aim to stimulate critical thinking about the effective methodology for catalyst modification instead of exploring new materials. At the end the challenges and a few concerns are raised from the current reports and future perspectives in this research field are discussed targeting to clarify the reliability and reproducibility of the photochemical process and to direct the future research direction, such as flow reactor design and in-depth understanding of the underlying reaction pathway.