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Special Issue "Advancement of Photocatalytic Materials 2016"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2016)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Klara Hernadi

Department of Applied and Environmental Chemistry, University of Szeged, H-6720 Szeged, Rerrich B. ter 1., Hungary
E-Mail
Phone: +36 62 544626
Fax: +36 62 544619
Interests: heterogeneous catalysis; carbon nanotubes; nanocomposite materials; immobilization of biologically active units; cell-to-biomaterials interactions

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Due to WoS statistics, the number of papers on the field of photocatalysis is still in dynamic growth. Researchers around the world aim at developing semiconductor materials that can be effectively utilized for converting the energy of sunlight to chemical energy by generating hydrogen from water-based solutions. These catalysts can also be suitable for decomposing potentially harmful compounds in gas, liquid and solid phase. This Special Issue is targeted to collect quality papers about the synthesis and application of photocatalytic materials.

The collected articles will emphasize the surface and structural properties of these micro- and nanoscaled materials, and focus on the applicability of the catalysts in either UV or visible light irradiation. Studies concerning synthesis methods and reaction mechanisms are also welcome.

I am pleased to invite you to submit manuscripts for this Special Issue on Photocatalytic Materials, in the form of research papers, communications, letters, and review articles. We look forward to your participation in this Special Issue of Materials.

Klara Hernadi
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Materials is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


Keywords

  • photocatalytic materials
  • converting of sunlight
  • generating hydrogen
  • decomposing harmful compounds
  • material design
  • advanced oxidation processes

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Using Central Composite Experimental Design to Optimize the Degradation of Tylosin from Aqueous Solution by Photo-Fenton Reaction
Materials 2016, 9(6), 428; doi:10.3390/ma9060428
Received: 18 March 2016 / Revised: 11 April 2016 / Accepted: 24 May 2016 / Published: 30 May 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1003 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The feasibility of the application of the Photo-Fenton process in the treatment of aqueous solution contaminated by Tylosin antibiotic was evaluated. The Response Surface Methodology (RSM) based on Central Composite Design (CCD) was used to evaluate and optimize the effect of hydrogen peroxide,
[...] Read more.
The feasibility of the application of the Photo-Fenton process in the treatment of aqueous solution contaminated by Tylosin antibiotic was evaluated. The Response Surface Methodology (RSM) based on Central Composite Design (CCD) was used to evaluate and optimize the effect of hydrogen peroxide, ferrous ion concentration and initial pH as independent variables on the total organic carbon (TOC) removal as the response function. The interaction effects and optimal parameters were obtained by using MODDE software. The significance of the independent variables and their interactions was tested by means of analysis of variance (ANOVA) with a 95% confidence level. Results show that the concentration of the ferrous ion and pH were the main parameters affecting TOC removal, while peroxide concentration had a slight effect on the reaction. The optimum operating conditions to achieve maximum TOC removal were determined. The model prediction for maximum TOC removal was compared to the experimental result at optimal operating conditions. A good agreement between the model prediction and experimental results confirms the soundness of the developed model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advancement of Photocatalytic Materials 2016)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Shape-Dependent Single-Electron Levels for Au Nanoparticles
Materials 2016, 9(4), 301; doi:10.3390/ma9040301
Received: 28 February 2016 / Revised: 8 April 2016 / Accepted: 12 April 2016 / Published: 21 April 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1743 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The shape of metal nanoparticles has a crucial role in their performance in heterogeneous catalysis as well as photocatalysis. We propose a method of determining the shape of nanoparticles based on measurements of single-electron quantum levels. We first consider nanoparticles in two shapes
[...] Read more.
The shape of metal nanoparticles has a crucial role in their performance in heterogeneous catalysis as well as photocatalysis. We propose a method of determining the shape of nanoparticles based on measurements of single-electron quantum levels. We first consider nanoparticles in two shapes of high symmetry: cube and sphere. We then focus on Au nanoparticles in three characteristic shapes that can be found in metal/inorganic or metal/organic compounds routinely used in catalysis and photocatalysis. We describe the methodology we use to solve the Schrödinger equation for arbitrary nanoparticle shape. The method gives results that agree well with analytical solutions for the high-symmetry shapes. When we apply our method in realistic gold nanoparticle models, which are obtained from Wulff construction based on first principles calculations, the single-electron levels and their density of states exhibit distinct shape-dependent features. Results for clean-surface nanoparticles are closer to those for cubic particles, while CO-covered nanoparticles have energy levels close to those of a sphere. Thiolate-covered nanoparticles with multifaceted polyhedral shape have distinct levels that are in between those for sphere and cube. We discuss how shape-dependent electronic structure features could be identified in experiments and thus guide catalyst design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advancement of Photocatalytic Materials 2016)
Open AccessArticle Photocatalytic Properties of g-C3N4–TiO2 Heterojunctions under UV and Visible Light Conditions
Materials 2016, 9(4), 286; doi:10.3390/ma9040286
Received: 12 February 2016 / Revised: 2 April 2016 / Accepted: 6 April 2016 / Published: 14 April 2016
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (2133 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) and titanium dioxide (TiO2) were chosen as a model system to investigate photocatalytic abilities of heterojunction system under UV and visible light conditions. The use of g-C3N4
[...] Read more.
Graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) and titanium dioxide (TiO2) were chosen as a model system to investigate photocatalytic abilities of heterojunction system under UV and visible light conditions. The use of g-C3N4 has been shown to be effective in the reduction in recombination through the interaction between the two interfaces of TiO2 and g-C3N4. A simple method of preparing g-C3N4 through the pyrolysis of melamine was employed, which was then added to undoped TiO2 material to form the g-C3N4–TiO2 system. These materials were then fully characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Brunauer Emmett Teller (BET), and various spectroscopic techniques including Raman, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), diffuse absorbance, and photoluminescence analysis. Photocatalysis studies were conducted using the model dye, rhodamine 6G utilizing visible and UV light irradiation. Raman spectroscopy confirmed that a composite of the materials was formed as opposed to a mixture of the two. Using XPS analysis, a shift in the nitrogen peak to that indicative of substitutional nitrogen was detected for all doped samples. This is then mirrored in the diffuse absorbance results, which show a clear decrease in band gap values for these samples, showing the effective band gap alteration achieved through this preparation process. When g-C3N4–TiO2 samples were analyzed under visible light irradiation, no significant improvement was observed compared that of pure TiO2. However, under UV light irradiation conditions, the photocatalytic ability of the doped samples exhibited an increased reactivity when compared to the undoped TiO2 (0.130 min−1), with 4% g-C3N4–TiO2 (0.187 min−1), showing a 43.9% increase in reactivity. Further doping to 8% g-C3N4–TiO2 lead to a decrease in reactivity against rhodamine 6G. BET analysis determined that the surface area of the 4% and 8% g-C3N4–TiO2 samples were very similar, with values of 29.4 and 28.5 m2/g, respectively, suggesting that the actual surface area is not a contributing factor. This could be due to an overloading of the system with covering of the active sites resulting in a lower reaction rate. XPS analysis showed that surface hydroxyl radicals and oxygen vacancies are not being formed throughout this preparation. Therefore, it can be suggested that the increased photocatalytic reaction rates are due to successful interfacial interactions with the g-C3N4-doped TiO2 systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advancement of Photocatalytic Materials 2016)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Fabrication of Pt/Ti/TiO2 Photoelectrodes by RF-Magnetron Sputtering for Separate Hydrogen and Oxygen Production
Materials 2016, 9(4), 279; doi:10.3390/ma9040279
Received: 3 February 2016 / Revised: 31 March 2016 / Accepted: 5 April 2016 / Published: 8 April 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (2187 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Evolution of pure hydrogen and oxygen by photocatalytic water splitting was attained from the opposite sides of a composite Pt/Ti/TiO2 photoelectrode. The TiO2 films were prepared by radio frequency (RF)-Magnetron Sputtering at different deposition time ranging from 1 up to 8
[...] Read more.
Evolution of pure hydrogen and oxygen by photocatalytic water splitting was attained from the opposite sides of a composite Pt/Ti/TiO2 photoelectrode. The TiO2 films were prepared by radio frequency (RF)-Magnetron Sputtering at different deposition time ranging from 1 up to 8 h and then characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and ultraviolet-visible-near infrared (UV-vis-NIR) diffuse reflectance spectroscopy. The photocatalytic activity was evaluated by incident photon to current efficiency (IPCE) measurements and by photocatalytic water splitting measurements in a two-compartment cell. The highest H2 production rate was attained with the photoelectrode prepared by 6 h-long TiO2 deposition thanks to its high content in the rutile polymorph, which is active under visible light. By contrast, the photoactivity dropped for longer deposition time, because of the increased probability of electron-hole recombination due to the longer electron transfer path. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advancement of Photocatalytic Materials 2016)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Synthesis of Shape-Tailored WO3 Micro-/Nanocrystals and the Photocatalytic Activity of WO3/TiO2 Composites
Materials 2016, 9(4), 258; doi:10.3390/ma9040258
Received: 10 February 2016 / Revised: 21 March 2016 / Accepted: 24 March 2016 / Published: 31 March 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (3662 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A traditional semiconductor (WO3) was synthesized from different precursors via hydrothermal crystallization targeting the achievement of three different crystal shapes (nanoplates, nanorods and nanostars). The obtained WO3 microcrystals were analyzed by the means of X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy
[...] Read more.
A traditional semiconductor (WO3) was synthesized from different precursors via hydrothermal crystallization targeting the achievement of three different crystal shapes (nanoplates, nanorods and nanostars). The obtained WO3 microcrystals were analyzed by the means of X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS). These methods contributed to the detailed analysis of the crystal morphology and structural features. The synthesized bare WO3 photocatalysts were totally inactive, while the P25/WO3 composites were efficient under UV light radiation. Furthermore, the maximum achieved activity was even higher than the bare P25’s photocatalytic performance. A correlation was established between the shape of the WO3 crystallites and the observed photocatalytic activity registered during the degradation of different substrates by using P25/WO3 composites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advancement of Photocatalytic Materials 2016)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Controlled Photocatalytic Synthesis of Core–Shell SiC/Polyaniline Hybrid Nanostructures
Materials 2016, 9(3), 201; doi:10.3390/ma9030201
Received: 31 January 2016 / Revised: 4 March 2016 / Accepted: 7 March 2016 / Published: 16 March 2016
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (4450 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hybrid materials of electrically conducting polymers and inorganic semiconductors form an exciting class of functional materials. To fully exploit the potential synergies of the hybrid formation, however, sophisticated synthetic methods are required that allow for the fine-tuning of the nanoscale structure of the
[...] Read more.
Hybrid materials of electrically conducting polymers and inorganic semiconductors form an exciting class of functional materials. To fully exploit the potential synergies of the hybrid formation, however, sophisticated synthetic methods are required that allow for the fine-tuning of the nanoscale structure of the organic/inorganic interface. Here we present the photocatalytic deposition of a conducting polymer (polyaniline) on the surface of silicon carbide (SiC) nanoparticles. The polymerization is facilitated on the SiC surface, via the oxidation of the monomer molecules by ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) light irradiation through the photogenerated holes. The synthesized core–shell nanostructures were characterized by UV-vis, Raman, and Fourier Transformed Infrared (FT-IR) Spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, transmission and scanning electron microscopy, and electrochemical methods. It was found that the composition of the hybrids can be varied by simply changing the irradiation time. In addition, we proved the crucial importance of the irradiation wavelength in forming conductive polyaniline, instead of its overoxidized, insulating counterpart. Overall, we conclude that photocatalytic deposition is a promising and versatile approach for the synthesis of conducting polymers with controlled properties on semiconductor surfaces. The presented findings may trigger further studies using photocatalysis as a synthetic strategy to obtain nanoscale hybrid architectures of different semiconductors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advancement of Photocatalytic Materials 2016)
Open AccessArticle Preparation of a Microspherical Silver-Reduced Graphene Oxide-Bismuth Vanadate Composite and Evaluation of Its Photocatalytic Activity
Materials 2016, 9(3), 160; doi:10.3390/ma9030160
Received: 12 January 2016 / Revised: 24 February 2016 / Accepted: 25 February 2016 / Published: 4 March 2016
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (2751 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A novel Ag-reduced graphene oxide (rGO)-bismuth vanadate (BiVO4) (AgGB) ternary composite was successfully synthesized via a one-step method. The prepared composite was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray (EDX), Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET)
[...] Read more.
A novel Ag-reduced graphene oxide (rGO)-bismuth vanadate (BiVO4) (AgGB) ternary composite was successfully synthesized via a one-step method. The prepared composite was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray (EDX), Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) surface area measurement, Raman scattering spectroscopy, and ultraviolet-visible diffuse-reflection spectroscopy (UV-vis DRS). The results showed that bulk monoclinic needle-like BiVO4 and Ag nanoparticles with a diameter of approximately 40 nm formed microspheres (diameter, 5–8 μm) with a uniform size distribution that could be loaded on rGO sheets to facilitate the transport of electrons photogenerated in BiVO4, thereby reducing the rate of recombination of photogenerated charge carriers in the coupled AgGB composite system. Ag nanoparticles were dispersed on the surface of the rGO sheets, which exhibited a localized surface plasmon resonance phenomenon and enhanced visible light absorption. The removal efficiency of rhodamine B dye by AgGB (80.2%) was much higher than that of pure BiVO4 (51.6%) and rGO-BiVO4 (58.3%) under visible light irradiation. Recycle experiments showed that the AgGB composite still presented significant photocatalytic activity after five successive cycles. Finally, we propose a possible pathway and mechanism for the photocatalytic degradation of rhodamine B dye using the composite photocatalyst under visible light irradiation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advancement of Photocatalytic Materials 2016)
Open AccessArticle Microstructure and Characteristic of BiVO4 Prepared under Different pH Values: Photocatalytic Efficiency and Antibacterial Activity
Materials 2016, 9(3), 129; doi:10.3390/ma9030129
Received: 11 January 2016 / Revised: 18 February 2016 / Accepted: 19 February 2016 / Published: 25 February 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (3961 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the present study, BiVO4 sample was prepared under different pH 0.5–13 without capping agent. Different morphology characteristics were observed, such as sheet crystal structure, cross crystal structure and branching crystal structure. The mechanism of the formation of BiVO4 nanostructure was
[...] Read more.
In the present study, BiVO4 sample was prepared under different pH 0.5–13 without capping agent. Different morphology characteristics were observed, such as sheet crystal structure, cross crystal structure and branching crystal structure. The mechanism of the formation of BiVO4 nanostructure was discussed. Under acid condition, sheet crystal structure was obtained. The phenomenon could be attributed to polymerization of vanadate in the presence of H+. In the weak alkaline solution, across structure and branching type morphology was obtained. The photocatalytic efficiency for the samples ranked as pH 5 > pH 3 > pH 7 > pH 9 > pH 1 > pH 11 > pH 13 > blank, which is in good agreement with X-ray diffraction (XRD) result. E. coli envelop was damaged in the presence of BiVO4 under visible light. The protrusion on envelop was diminished by BiVO4. Attenuated Total Reflection Fourier transformed Infrared Spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) results suggested the intensity was weakened for the amide, phosphoric, –COO group and C-H bond in lipopolysaccharides (LPS), peptidoglycan and periplasm molecules. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advancement of Photocatalytic Materials 2016)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Deposition of Visible Light Active Photocatalytic Bismuth Molybdate Thin Films by Reactive Magnetron Sputtering
Materials 2016, 9(2), 67; doi:10.3390/ma9020067
Received: 23 December 2015 / Revised: 13 January 2016 / Accepted: 15 January 2016 / Published: 22 January 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (3259 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Bismuth molybdate thin films were deposited by reactive magnetron co-sputtering from two metallic targets in an argon/oxygen atmosphere, reportedly for the first time. Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) analysis showed that the ratio of bismuth to molybdenum in the coatings can be effectively
[...] Read more.
Bismuth molybdate thin films were deposited by reactive magnetron co-sputtering from two metallic targets in an argon/oxygen atmosphere, reportedly for the first time. Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) analysis showed that the ratio of bismuth to molybdenum in the coatings can be effectively controlled by varying the power applied to each target. Deposited coatings were annealed in air at 673 K for 30 min. The crystalline structure was assessed by means of Raman spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Oxidation state information was obtained by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Photodegradation of organic dyes methylene blue and rhodamine B was used for evaluation of the photocatalytic properties of the coatings under a visible light source. The photocatalytic properties of the deposited coatings were then compared to a sample of commercial titanium dioxide-based photocatalytic product. The repeatability of the dye degradation reactions and photocatalytic coating reusability are discussed. It was found that coatings with a Bi:Mo ratio of approximately 2:1 exhibited the highest photocatalytic activity of the coatings studied; its efficacy in dye photodegradation significantly outperformed a sample of commercial photocatalytic coating. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advancement of Photocatalytic Materials 2016)
Open AccessArticle Facile Synthesis of SrCO3-Sr(OH)2/PPy Nanocomposite with Enhanced Photocatalytic Activity under Visible Light
Materials 2016, 9(1), 30; doi:10.3390/ma9010030
Received: 1 October 2015 / Revised: 2 December 2015 / Accepted: 3 December 2015 / Published: 6 January 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (6106 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Pyrrole monomer was chemically polymerized onto SrCO3-Sr(OH)2 powders to obtain SrCO3-Sr(OH)2/polypyrrole nanocomposite to be used as a candidate for photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue dye (MB). The material was characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy,
[...] Read more.
Pyrrole monomer was chemically polymerized onto SrCO3-Sr(OH)2 powders to obtain SrCO3-Sr(OH)2/polypyrrole nanocomposite to be used as a candidate for photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue dye (MB). The material was characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, UV/Vis spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction (XRD). It was observed from transmission electronic microscopy (TEM) analysis that the reported synthesis route allows the production of SrCO3-Sr(OH)2 nanoparticles with particle size below 100 nm which were embedded within a semiconducting polypyrrole matrix (PPy). The SrCO3-Sr(OH)2 and SrCO3-Sr(OH)2/PPy nanocomposites were tested in the photodegradation of MB dye under visible light irradiation. Also, the effects of MB dye initial concentration and the catalyst load on photodegradation efficiency were studied and discussed. Under the same conditions, the efficiency of photodegradation of MB employing the SrCO3-Sr(OH)2/PPy nanocomposite increases as compared with that obtained employing the SrCO3-Sr(OH)2 nanocomposite. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advancement of Photocatalytic Materials 2016)
Open AccessArticle Degradation of Tetracycline with BiFeO3 Prepared by a Simple Hydrothermal Method
Materials 2015, 8(9), 6360-6378; doi:10.3390/ma8095310
Received: 14 August 2015 / Revised: 28 August 2015 / Accepted: 14 September 2015 / Published: 18 September 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (2283 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
BiFeO3 particles (BFO) were prepared by a simple hydrothermal method and characterized. BFO was pure, with a wide particle size distribution, and was visible light responsive. Tetracycline was chosen as the model pollutant in this study. The pH value was an important
[...] Read more.
BiFeO3 particles (BFO) were prepared by a simple hydrothermal method and characterized. BFO was pure, with a wide particle size distribution, and was visible light responsive. Tetracycline was chosen as the model pollutant in this study. The pH value was an important factor influencing the degradation efficiency. The total organic carbon (TOC) measurement was emphasized as a potential standard to evaluate the visible light photocatalytic degradation efficiency. The photo-Fenton process showed much better degradation efficiency and a wider pH adaptive range than photocatalysis or the Fenton process solely. The optimal residual TOC concentrations of the photocatalysis, Fenton and photo-Fenton processes were 81%, 65% and 21%, while the rate constants of the three processes under the same condition where the best residual TOC was acquired were 9.7 × 10−3, 3.2 × 10−2 and 1.5 × 10−1 min−1, respectively. BFO was demonstrated to have excellent stability and reusability. A comparison among different reported advanced oxidation processes removing tetracycline (TC) was also made. Our findings showed that the photo-Fenton process had good potential for antibiotic-containing waste water treatment. It provides a new method to deal with antibiotic pollution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advancement of Photocatalytic Materials 2016)

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