Photocatalytic processes based on various semiconductors have been widely utilized in different applications, with great potential for use in environmental pollution remediation and sustainable energy generation. However, critical issues, including low light adsorption capability, wide energy bandgap, and unsatisfactory physicochemical stability still seriously limit the practical applications of photocatalysts. As a solution, the introduction of carbonaceous materials with different structures and properties into a photocatalyst system to further increase the activity has attracted much research attention. This mini review surveys the related literatures and highlights recent progress in the development of carbonaceous photocatalysts, which include various metal semiconductors with activated carbon, carbon dots, carbon nanotubes/nanofibers, graphene, fullerene, and carbon sponges/aerogels. Moreover, graphitic carbon nitride is also discussed as a carbon-rich and metal-free photocatalyst. The recently developed synthesis strategies and proposed mechanisms underlying the photocatalytic activity enhancement for different applications are summarized and discussed. Finally, ongoing challenges and the developmental direction for carbonaceous photocatalysts are proposed.
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