Progress in heterogeneous photocatalysis : From classical radical chemistry to engineering nanomaterials and solar reactors

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-639
Journal / PublicationJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012


The field of heterogeneous photocatalysis has expanded rapidly in the last four decades, having undergone various evolutionary phases related to energy and the environment. The two most significant applications of photocatalysis are geared toward solar water splitting and the purification of air and water. Notably, the interdisciplinary nature of the field has increased significantly, incorporating semiconductor physics, surface sciences, photo and physical chemistry, materials science, and chemical engineering. Whereas this forms the basis on which the field continues to grow, adequate bridging of multidisciplinary knowledge remains essential. By recalling some of the classical fundamentals of photocatalysis, this Perspective provides contemporary views on heterogeneous photochemical conversion, encompassing charge transport characteristics, radical chemistry and organic degradation mechanisms, photocatalyst design, and photoreactor engineering. © 2012 American Chemical Society.