Solar light is an inexpensive energy source making up for energy shortage and solving serious environmental problems. For efficient utilization of solar energy, photocatalytic materials have attracted extensive attention over the last decades. As zero-dimensional carbon nanomaterials, fullerenes (C60
, etc.) have been extensively investigated for photocatalytic applications. Due to their unique properties, fullerenes can be used with other semiconductors as photocatalyst enhancers, and also as novel photocatalysts after being dispersed on non-semiconductors. This review summarizes fullerene-based materials (including fullerene/semiconductors and fullerene/non-semiconductors) for photocatalytic applications, such as water splitting, Cr (VI) reduction, pollutant degradation and bacterial disinfection. Firstly, the optical and electronic properties of fullerene are presented. Then, recent advances in the synthesis and photocatalytic mechanisms of fullerene-based photocatalysts are summarized. Furthermore, the effective performances of fullerene-based photocatalysts are discussed, mainly concerning photocatalytic H2
generation and pollutant removal. Finally, the current challenges and prospects of fullerene-based photocatalysts are proposed. It is expected that this review could bring a better understanding of fullerene-based photocatalysts for water treatment and environmental protection.
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