Special Issue "Nanoscale in Photocatalysis"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hongqi Sun

School of Engineering, Edith Cowan University, 270 Joondalup Drive, Joondalup, Western Australia 6027, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 61-8-63045067
Fax: 61-8-63045811
Interests: photocatalysis; nanomaterials; catalysis; solar fuels; solar cells
Co-Guest Editor
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Zhaohui Wang

College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Donghua University, No. 2999 North Renmin Road, Songjiang, Shanghai, 201620, P.R. China
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 86-21-67792557
Fax: 86-21-67792522
Interests: environmental photochemistry; advanced oxidation technology; aquatic redox chemistry; reactive oxygen species; environmental geochemistry

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Rationally driving sunlight to carry out chemical reactions, for example, photochemistry and photocatalysis, has appeared as a beautiful episode within the long story of solar-energy utilization by human beings. Before approaching the application scale of solar panel or solar thermal energy, considerate efforts are still required from effective collaborations among academia, industries, and governments. Over past few decades, the photocatalysis frontier has been continuously explored by means of interdisciplinary research. Emerging understanding in the nanoscale is most likely to lead photocatalysis into the future.

This Special Issue of Nanomaterials aims at presenting “dedicated collections”, showcasing the advances emerging in the research frontiers involving any aspect of the nanoscale in photocatalysis. We commit to providing sophisticated yet balanced contributions, focusing on the state-of-the-art in photocatalysis findings from leading research groups. Studies on nanostructured materials, such as photocatalysts, computational research, and insightful mechanisms, are all cordially invited to work synergistically and to bring forth the next generation of photocatalysis, with implications for remediation, solar fuels and sustainability as a whole.

Assoc/Prof. Hongqi Sun
Guest Editor

Assoc/Prof. Zhaohui Wang
Co-Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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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. Nanomaterials 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 1200 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

  • photocatalysis
  • nanoscale
  • solar energy
  • water treatment
  • sustainability
  • computational studies
  • semiconductor
  • reaction mechanism

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Highly Enhanced Photoreductive Degradation of Polybromodiphenyl Ethers with g-C3N4/TiO2 under Visible Light Irradiation
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(4), 76; doi:10.3390/nano7040076
Received: 1 February 2017 / Revised: 29 March 2017 / Accepted: 30 March 2017 / Published: 3 April 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3975 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
A series of high activity photocatalysts g-C3N4-TiO2 were synthesized by simple one-pot thermal transformation method and characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) surface area, and ultraviolet–visible diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (UV-Vis-DRS). The
[...] Read more.
A series of high activity photocatalysts g-C3N4-TiO2 were synthesized by simple one-pot thermal transformation method and characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) surface area, and ultraviolet–visible diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (UV-Vis-DRS). The g-C3N4-TiO2 samples show highly improved photoreductive capability for the degradation of polybromodiphenyl ethers compared with g-C3N4 under visible light irradiation. Among all the hybrids, 0.02-C3N4-TiO2 with 2 wt % g-C3N4 loaded shows the highest reaction rate, which is 15 times as high as that in bare g-C3N4. The well-matched band gaps in heterojunction g-C3N4-TiO2 not only strengthen the absorption intensity, but also show more effective charge carrier separation, which results in the highly enhanced photoreductive performance under visible light irradiation. The trapping experiments show that holetrapping agents largely affect the reaction rate. The rate of electron accumulation in the conductive band is the rate-determining step in the degradation reaction. A possible photoreductive mechanism has been proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoscale in Photocatalysis)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Three-Dimensional BiOI/BiOX (X = Cl or Br) Nanohybrids for Enhanced Visible-Light Photocatalytic Activity
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(3), 64; doi:10.3390/nano7030064
Received: 24 January 2017 / Revised: 24 February 2017 / Accepted: 7 March 2017 / Published: 14 March 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (8339 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Three-dimensional flower-like BiOI/BiOX (X = Br or Cl) hybrids were synthesized via a facile one-pot solvothermal approach. With systematic characterizations by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), the Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET)specific surface area, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and the
[...] Read more.
Three-dimensional flower-like BiOI/BiOX (X = Br or Cl) hybrids were synthesized via a facile one-pot solvothermal approach. With systematic characterizations by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), the Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET)specific surface area, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and the UV-Vis diffuse reflectance spectra (DRS), the BiOI/BiOCl composites showed a fluffy and porous 3-D architecture with a large specific surface area (SSA) and high capability for light absorption. Among all the BiOX (X = Cl, Br, I) and BiOI/BiOX (X = Cl or Br) composites, BiOI/BiOCl stands out as the most efficient photocatalyst under both visible and UV light irradiations for methyl orange (MO) oxidation. The reaction rate of MO degradation on BiOI/BiOCl was 2.1 times higher than that on pure BiOI under visible light. Moreover, BiOI/BiOCl exhibited enhanced water oxidation efficiency for O2 evolution which was 1.5 times higher than BiOI. The enhancement of photocatalytic activity could be attributed to the formation of a heterojunction between BiOI and BiOCl, with a nanoporous structure, a larger SSA, and a stronger light absorbance capacity especially in the visible-light region. The in situ electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) revealed that BiOI/BiOCl composites could effectively evolve superoxide radicals and hydroxyl radicals for photodegradation, and the superoxide radicals are the dominant reactive species. The superb photocatalytic activity of BiOI/BiOCl could be utilized for the degradation of various industrial dyes under natural sunlight irradiation which is of high significance for the remediation of industrial wastewater in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoscale in Photocatalysis)
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Open AccessArticle Design and Synthesis of TiO2 Hollow Spheres with Spatially Separated Dual Cocatalysts for Efficient Photocatalytic Hydrogen Production
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(2), 24; doi:10.3390/nano7020024
Received: 8 November 2016 / Revised: 12 January 2017 / Accepted: 17 January 2017 / Published: 25 January 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (3307 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
TiO2 hollow spheres modified with spatially separated Ag species and RuO2 cocatalysts have been prepared via an alkoxide hydrolysis–precipitation method and a facile impregnation method. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy studies indicate that Ag species and RuO2 co-located on the inner
[...] Read more.
TiO2 hollow spheres modified with spatially separated Ag species and RuO2 cocatalysts have been prepared via an alkoxide hydrolysis–precipitation method and a facile impregnation method. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy studies indicate that Ag species and RuO2 co-located on the inner and outer surface of TiO2 hollow spheres, respectively. The resultant catalysts show significantly enhanced activity in photocatalytic hydrogen production under simulated sunlight attributed to spatially separated Ag species and RuO2 cocatalysts on TiO2 hollow spheres, which results in the efficient separation and transportation of photogenerated charge carriers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoscale in Photocatalysis)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle A Novel Heterostructure of BiOI Nanosheets Anchored onto MWCNTs with Excellent Visible-Light Photocatalytic Activity
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(1), 22; doi:10.3390/nano7010022
Received: 2 December 2016 / Revised: 9 January 2017 / Accepted: 16 January 2017 / Published: 23 January 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (6336 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Developing efficient visible-light-driven (VLD) photocatalysts for environmental decontamination has drawn significant attention in recent years. Herein, we have reported a novel heterostructure of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) coated with BiOI nanosheets as an efficient VLD photocatalyst, which was prepared via a simple solvothermal
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Developing efficient visible-light-driven (VLD) photocatalysts for environmental decontamination has drawn significant attention in recent years. Herein, we have reported a novel heterostructure of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) coated with BiOI nanosheets as an efficient VLD photocatalyst, which was prepared via a simple solvothermal method. The morphology and structure were characterized by powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), UV-Vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS), and specific surface area measurements. The results showed that BiOI nanosheets were well deposited on MWCNTs. The MWCNTs/BiOI composites exhibited remarkably enhanced photocatalytic activity for the degradation of rhodamine B (RhB), methyl orange (MO), and para-chlorophenol (4-CP) under visible-light, compared with pure BiOI. When the MWCNTs content is 3 wt %, the MWCNTs/BiOI composite (3%M-Bi) achieves the highest activity, which is even higher than that of a mechanical mixture (3 wt % MWCNTs + 97 wt % BiOI). The superior photocatalytic activity is predominantly due to the strong coupling interface between MWCNTs and BiOI, which significantly promotes the efficient electron-hole separation. The photo-induced holes (h+) and superoxide radicals (O2) mainly contribute to the photocatalytic degradation of RhB over 3%M-Bi. Therefore, the MWCNTs/BiOI composite is expected to be an efficient VLD photocatalyst for environmental purification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoscale in Photocatalysis)
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Open AccessArticle Enhanced Visible Light Photocatalytic Activity of ZnO Nanowires Doped with Mn2+ and Co2+ Ions
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(1), 20; doi:10.3390/nano7010020
Received: 13 December 2016 / Revised: 9 January 2017 / Accepted: 12 January 2017 / Published: 19 January 2017
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (3778 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this research, ZnO nanowires doped with Mn2+ and Co2+ ions were synthesized through a facile and inexpensive hydrothermal approach, in which Mn2+ and Co2+ ions successfully substituted Zn2+ in the ZnO crystal lattice without changing the morphology
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In this research, ZnO nanowires doped with Mn2+ and Co2+ ions were synthesized through a facile and inexpensive hydrothermal approach, in which Mn2+ and Co2+ ions successfully substituted Zn2+ in the ZnO crystal lattice without changing the morphology and crystalline structure of ZnO. The atomic percentages of Mn and Co were 6.29% and 1.68%, respectively, in the doped ZnO nanowires. The photocatalytic results showed that Mn-doped and Co-doped ZnO nanowires both exhibited higher photocatalytic activities than undoped ZnO nanowires. Among the doped ZnO nanowires, Co-doped ZnO, which owns a twice active visible-light photocatalytic performance compared to pure ZnO, is considered a more efficient photocatalyst material. The enhancement of its photocatalytic performance originates from the doped metal ions, which enhance the light absorption ability and inhibit the recombination of photo-generated electron-hole pairs as well. The effect of the doped ion types on the morphology, crystal lattice and other properties of ZnO was also investigated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoscale in Photocatalysis)
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Open AccessArticle Enhanced Photocatalytic Performance under Visible and Near-Infrared Irradiation of Cu1.8Se/Cu3Se2 Composite via a Phase Junction
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(1), 19; doi:10.3390/nano7010019
Received: 14 November 2016 / Revised: 2 January 2017 / Accepted: 10 January 2017 / Published: 18 January 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (3496 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A novel Cu1.8Se/Cu3Se2 composite photocatalyst was prepared by the simple precipitation method. This composite possesses a wide photoabsorption until the range of near-infrared light, and exhibits significantly enhanced photocatalytic activity for methyl orange degradation under visible and near-infrared
[...] Read more.
A novel Cu1.8Se/Cu3Se2 composite photocatalyst was prepared by the simple precipitation method. This composite possesses a wide photoabsorption until the range of near-infrared light, and exhibits significantly enhanced photocatalytic activity for methyl orange degradation under visible and near-infrared light irradiation compared with bare Cu1.8Se and Cu3Se2. The mechanism of this outstanding photocatalytic behavior can be explained by the calculated energy band positions. The efficient charge separation via a phase junction of Cu1.8Se/Cu3Se2 composite would make a great contribution to its much-enhanced photocatalytic efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoscale in Photocatalysis)
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Open AccessArticle Photoelectrochemical Performance Observed in Mn-Doped BiFeO3 Heterostructured Thin Films
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(11), 215; doi:10.3390/nano6110215
Received: 9 October 2016 / Revised: 8 November 2016 / Accepted: 11 November 2016 / Published: 16 November 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2398 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pure BiFeO3 and heterostructured BiFeO3/BiFe0.95Mn0.05O3 (5% Mn-doped BiFeO3) thin films have been prepared by a chemical deposition method. The band structures and photosensitive properties of these films have been investigated elaborately. Pure BiFeO
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Pure BiFeO3 and heterostructured BiFeO3/BiFe0.95Mn0.05O3 (5% Mn-doped BiFeO3) thin films have been prepared by a chemical deposition method. The band structures and photosensitive properties of these films have been investigated elaborately. Pure BiFeO3 films showed stable and strong response to photo illumination (open circuit potential kept −0.18 V, short circuit photocurrent density was −0.023 mA·cm−2). By Mn doping, the energy band positions shifted, resulting in a smaller band gap of BiFe0.95Mn0.05O3 layer and an internal field being built in the BiFeO3/BiFe0.95Mn0.05O3 interface. BiFeO3/BiFe0.95Mn0.05O3 and BiFe0.95Mn0.05O3 thin films demonstrated poor photo activity compared with pure BiFeO3 films, which can be explained by the fact that Mn doping brought in a large amount of defects in the BiFe0.95Mn0.05O3 layers, causing higher carrier combination and correspondingly suppressing the photo response, and this negative influence was more considerable than the positive effects provided by the band modulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoscale in Photocatalysis)
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Open AccessArticle Facile Synthesis of g-C3N4 Nanosheets/ZnO Nanocomposites with Enhanced Photocatalytic Activity in Reduction of Aqueous Chromium(VI) under Visible Light
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(9), 173; doi:10.3390/nano6090173
Received: 21 June 2016 / Revised: 2 August 2016 / Accepted: 2 August 2016 / Published: 14 September 2016
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (6777 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Graphitic-C3N4 nanosheets (CN)/ZnO photocatalysts (CN/ZnO) with different CN loadings were successfully prepared via a simple precipitation-calcination in the presence of exfoliated C3N4 nanosheets. Their morphology and structure were thoroughly characterized by powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron
[...] Read more.
Graphitic-C3N4 nanosheets (CN)/ZnO photocatalysts (CN/ZnO) with different CN loadings were successfully prepared via a simple precipitation-calcination in the presence of exfoliated C3N4 nanosheets. Their morphology and structure were thoroughly characterized by powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), UV-Vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS) and photoluminescence spectra (PL). The results showed that hexagonal wurzite-phase ZnO nanoparticles were randomly distributed onto the CN nanosheets with a well-bonded interface between the two components in the CN/ZnO composites. The performance of the photocatalytic Cr(VI) reduction indicated that CN/ZnO exhibited better photocatalytic activity than pure ZnO under visible-light irradiation and the photocatalyst composite with a lower loading of CN sheets eventually displayed higher activity. The enhanced performance of CN/ZnO photocatalysts could be ascribed to the increased absorption of the visible light and the effective transfer and separation of the photogenerated charge carriers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoscale in Photocatalysis)
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Open AccessArticle Synthesis of p-Co3O4/n-TiO2 Nanoparticles for Overall Water Splitting under Visible Light Irradiation
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(8), 138; doi:10.3390/nano6080138
Received: 27 May 2016 / Revised: 15 July 2016 / Accepted: 15 July 2016 / Published: 27 July 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (3721 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
p-Co3O4/n-TiO2 nanoparticles (~400 nm) for photocatalysis were prepared via carbon assisted method and sol-gel method in this work. The paper also studied the application of visible light illuminated p-Co3O4/n-TiO2 nanocomposites cocatalyst to the
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p-Co3O4/n-TiO2 nanoparticles (~400 nm) for photocatalysis were prepared via carbon assisted method and sol-gel method in this work. The paper also studied the application of visible light illuminated p-Co3O4/n-TiO2 nanocomposites cocatalyst to the overall pure water splitting into H2 and O2. In addition, the H2 evolution rate of the p-Co3O4/n-TiO2 nanocomposites is 25% higher than that of the pure Co3O4 nanoparticles. Besides, according to the results of the characterizations, the scheme of visible light photocatalytic water splitting is proposed, the Co3O4 of the nanocomposites is excited by visible light, and the photo-generated electrons and holes existing on the conduction band of Co3O4 and valence band of TiO2 have endowed the photocatalytic evolution of H2 and O2 with higher efficiency. The optimal evolution rate of H2 and O2 is 8.16 μmol/h·g and 4.0 μmol/h·g, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoscale in Photocatalysis)
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Review

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Open AccessReview 2D Transition Metal Dichalcogenides and Graphene-Based Ternary Composites for Photocatalytic Hydrogen Evolution and Pollutants Degradation
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(3), 62; doi:10.3390/nano7030062
Received: 26 January 2017 / Revised: 6 March 2017 / Accepted: 8 March 2017 / Published: 15 March 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (3948 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Photocatalysis have attracted great attention due to their useful applications for sustainable hydrogen evolution and pollutants degradation. Transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) such as MoS2 and WS2 have exhibited great potential as cocatalysts to increase the photo-activity of some semiconductors. By combination
[...] Read more.
Photocatalysis have attracted great attention due to their useful applications for sustainable hydrogen evolution and pollutants degradation. Transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) such as MoS2 and WS2 have exhibited great potential as cocatalysts to increase the photo-activity of some semiconductors. By combination with graphene (GR), enhanced cocatalysts of TMD/GR hybrids could be synthesized. GR here can act as a conductive electron channel for the transport of the photogenerated electrons, while the TMDs nanosheets in the hybrids can collect electrons and act as active sites for photocatalytic reactions. This mini review will focus on the application of TMD/GR hybrids as cocatalysts for semiconductors in photocatalytic reactions, by which we hope to provide enriched information of TMD/GR as a platform to develop more efficient photocatalysts for solar energy utilization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoscale in Photocatalysis)
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