Special Issue "Understanding the Molecular Mechanisms of Photocatalysis"

A special issue of Catalysts (ISSN 2073-4344). This special issue belongs to the section "Photocatalysis".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Maria Luisa Marin Website E-Mail
Instituto de Tecnología Química, Universitat Politècnica de València-Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Avenida de los Naranjos s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain
Interests: photocatalysis; photochemistry; mechanisms and photobiology
Guest Editor
Dr. Francisco Boscá Website E-Mail
Instituto Universitario Mixto de Tecnología Química (ITQ-UPV), Universitat Politècnica de València, Av. de los Naranjos s/n,46022 Valencia, Spain
Phone: 34 963618726
Interests: photocatalysis; photochemistry; mechanisms and photobiology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Photocatalysis includes those processes that use light to activate a substance (photocatalyst) that subsequently modifies the rate of a chemical reaction without being altered or consumed. Upon absorption of light, photocatalysts in their excited electronic states are susceptible to accepting and donating electrons under very mild conditions. One of the advantages of photocatalytic redox processes over conventional ones is that the photocatalysts are almost inert until the desired oxidizing and/or reducing species is generated in situ upon application of the appropriate light source. However, although these reactive species are easy to generate, their short lifetime makes controlling subsequent steps and, therefore, product formation challenging. This reason may be why, although photocatalysis has already had a technological impact in specialized industrial applications, little attention has been paid to rationalizing the molecular mechanisms underlying these kind of reactions. A postulated overall mechanism should consider, on one hand, a thermodynamic analysis of all the steps involved in the photocatalytic cycle, and, on the other hand, an examination of the kinetic feasibility of the postulated processes. Hence, a deeper mechanistic understanding of every step in the photocatalytic process is still necessary, since it will allow us to determine the nature of the involved reactive species and their role in the operating photochemical pathways, providing the fundamentals for tailored photocatalytic treatments designed to undertake specific families of compounds.

This Special Issue, “Understanding the Molecular Mechanisms of Photocatalysis”, expects to contribute to progress in reaction discovery and inspire the invention of improved photocatalysts, regardless of whether they are organic (supported or not) or semiconductor-based photocatalysts, for future technological applications. We welcome contributions on (but not limited to):

  • photocatalytic processes for wastewater remediation;
  • photocatalytic processes for wastewater disinfection;
  • new photocatalytic materials for light-harvesting applications;
  • synthetic processes mediated by photocatalysis;
  • photocatalysis for radical mediated organic synthesis;
  • mechanisms and kinetics of organic reactions mediated by light;
  • the use of visible light for (enantio)selective organic transformations
  • catalytic mechanisms of heterogeneous photoredox catalysis;
  • photocatalytic materials for photodynamic therapy; and
  • fundamental understanding of reactive oxygen species (ROS) actions.

Prof. Dr. Maria Luisa Marin
Dr. Francisco Boscá
Guest Editors

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. Catalysts 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 1600 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.


  • band-gap
  • excited states
  • kinetic analysis
  • oxidation
  • reaction mechanisms
  • reduction
  • semiconductors
  • spectroscopy
  • time-resolved techniques
  • visible light

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Surface-Doped Graphitic Carbon Nitride Catalyzed Photooxidation of Olefins and Dienes: Chemical Evidence for Electron Transfer and Singlet Oxygen Mechanisms
Catalysts 2019, 9(8), 639; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal9080639 - 27 Jul 2019
A new photocatalytic reactivity of carbon-nanodot-doped graphitic carbon nitride (CD-C3N4) with alkenes and dienes, has been disclosed. We have shown that CD-C3N4 photosensitizes the oxidation of unsaturated substrates in a variety of solvents according to two [...] Read more.
A new photocatalytic reactivity of carbon-nanodot-doped graphitic carbon nitride (CD-C3N4) with alkenes and dienes, has been disclosed. We have shown that CD-C3N4 photosensitizes the oxidation of unsaturated substrates in a variety of solvents according to two competing mechanisms: the energy transfer via singlet oxygen (1O2) and/or the electron transfer via superoxide (O·2). The singlet oxygen, derived by the CD-C3N4 photosensitized process, reacts with alkenes to form allylic hydroperoxides (ene products) whereas with dienes, endoperoxides. When the electron transfer mechanism operates, cleavage products are formed, derived from the corresponding dioxetanes. Which of the two mechanisms will prevail depends on solvent polarity and the particular substrate. The photocatalyst remains stable under the photooxidation conditions, unlike the most conventional photosensitizers, while the heterogeneous nature of CD-C3N4 overcomes usual solubility problems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Understanding the Molecular Mechanisms of Photocatalysis)
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