Special Issue "Progression in Photocatalytic Materials for Efficient Performance"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 September 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Faryal Idrees
Website
Guest Editor
Institut für Technische Chemie, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover, Callinstrasse 3, D-30167 Hannover, Germany; Department of Physics, University of the Punjab, 54000, Lahore
Interests: photocatalysis; dye degradation; water splitting; energy storage and conversion
Dr. Faheem K. Butt
Website
Guest Editor
Division of Science and Technology, University of Education Lahore, Pakistan
Interests: energy storage and conversion; photocatalysis; optoelectronic devices
Dr. Samia Ben Hammouda
Website
Guest Editor
Institut für Technische Chemie, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover, Callinstrasse 3, D-30167 Hannover, Germany
Interests: photocatalysis; characterization technique
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Photocatalysis is considered as one of the promising techniques to address the energy supply and a remedy for environmental degradation problems. It simultaneously covers the solar energy conversion and storage objectives by utilizing solar energy into chemical energy. In recent years, sufficient efforts have been made to utilize semiconductor photocatalysts. Currently at the commercial scale, TiO2 is in use, but wide bandgap has limited its effect to the UV region only. Considering the limitation, several strategies have been proposed to tune the bandgap, increasing the surface kinetics, lowering the recombination rate, developing a novel mechanism, etc., which are beneficial for optimizing photocatalytic activity. This Special Issue aims to cover recent progress and challenges in designing, synthesizing, characterizing, and establishing advanced/efficient photocatalytic systems.

Dr. Faryal Idrees
Dr. Faheem K. Butt
Dr. Samia ben Hammouda
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 1800 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

  • water splitting
  • H2 Production
  • NOx degradation
  • dye degradation
  • Z-Scheme
  • Type-II scheme
  • solar light
  • laser photolysis
  • heterostructures
  • computation

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
One-Step Synthesis of b-N-TiO2/C Nanocomposites with High Visible Light Photocatalytic Activity to Degrade Microcystis aeruginosa
Catalysts 2020, 10(5), 579; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal10050579 - 21 May 2020
Abstract
Black TiO2 with doped nitrogen and modified carbon (b-N-TiO2/C) were successfully prepared by sol-gel method in the presence of urea as a source of nitrogen and carbon. The photocatalysts were characterized by field emission scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron [...] Read more.
Black TiO2 with doped nitrogen and modified carbon (b-N-TiO2/C) were successfully prepared by sol-gel method in the presence of urea as a source of nitrogen and carbon. The photocatalysts were characterized by field emission scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Raman, electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR), and UV-vis diffuse reflectance spectra (DRS). The doped nitrogen, introduced defects, and modified carbon played a synergistic role in enhancing photocatalytic activity of b-N-TiO2/C for the degradation of chlorophyll-a in algae cells. The sample, with a proper amount of phase composition and oxygen vacancies, showed the highest efficiency to degrade chlorophyll-a, and the addition of H2O2 promoted this photocatalysis degradation. Based on the trapping experiments and electron spin resonance (ESR) signals, a photocatalytic mechanism of b-N-TiO2/C was proposed. In the photocatalytic degradation of chlorophyll-a, the major reactive species were identified as OH and O2. This research may provide new insights into the photocatalytic inactivation of algae cells by composite photocatalysts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progression in Photocatalytic Materials for Efficient Performance)
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Open AccessArticle
Pt Nanowire-Anchored Dodecahedral Ag3PO4{110} Constructed for Significant Enhancement of Photocatalytic Activity and Anti-Photocorrosion Properties: Spatial Separation of Charge Carriers and PhotogeneratedElectron Utilization
Catalysts 2020, 10(2), 206; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal10020206 - 08 Feb 2020
Abstract
Pt nanowire-anchored dodecahedral Ag3PO4{110} was constructed for organics photodegradation. SEM and TEM images confirmed that the Pt nanowires were grafted on dodecahedral Ag3PO4, which was entirely bounded by {110} facets. All the X-ray diffraction peaks [...] Read more.
Pt nanowire-anchored dodecahedral Ag3PO4{110} was constructed for organics photodegradation. SEM and TEM images confirmed that the Pt nanowires were grafted on dodecahedral Ag3PO4, which was entirely bounded by {110} facets. All the X-ray diffraction peaks of the samples were indexed to the body-centered cubic phase of Ag3PO4, indicating that Pt nanowire-anchored dodecahedral Ag3PO4 well maintained the original crystal structure. The rhombic dodecahedral Ag3PO4 entirely bounded by {110} facets achieved high photocatalytic activity. Due to the formation of a Schottky barrier, the Pt nanowires improved the separation of the charge carriers of Ag3PO4. Furthermore, they provided a fast expressway to transfer the photogenerated electrons and prolonged the lifetime of the charge carriers via long-distance transport, resulting in the accumulation of holes on Ag3PO4 for organics degradation. More importantly, the Pt nanowires improved the reduction potential of the photogenerated electrons for O2 reduction to ·O2, which enhanced the photocatalytic activity and anti-photocorrosion properties of Ag3PO4. We found that 99.5% of Rhodamine B (RhB) could be removed over 0.5ωt% Pt nanowire-anchored dodecahedral Ag3PO4 within 10 min. Even after 10 cycles, the photocatalytic activity was still high. photoluminescence (PL), time-resolved photoluminescence (TRPL), UV–vis diffuse reflectance spectra (UV–visDRS), and photoelectrochemical analysis showed that Pt nanowire-anchored dodecahedral Ag3PO4 exhibited lower bandgap, higher photocurrent intensity, better electronic conductivity, and longer charge carriers lifetime than other types of Ag3PO4 crystals. Radical trapping experiments and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) analysis demonstrated that the holes were the main active species for organics photodegradation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progression in Photocatalytic Materials for Efficient Performance)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Photocatalytic Reforming for Hydrogen Evolution: A Review
Catalysts 2020, 10(3), 335; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal10030335 - 17 Mar 2020
Abstract
Hydrogen is considered to be an ideal energy carrier to achieve low-carbon economy and sustainable energy supply. Production of hydrogen by catalytic reforming of organic compounds is one of the most important commercial processes. With the rapid development of photocatalysis in recent years, [...] Read more.
Hydrogen is considered to be an ideal energy carrier to achieve low-carbon economy and sustainable energy supply. Production of hydrogen by catalytic reforming of organic compounds is one of the most important commercial processes. With the rapid development of photocatalysis in recent years, the applications of photocatalysis have been extended to the area of reforming hydrogen evolution. This research area has attracted extensive attention and exhibited potential for wide application in practice. Photocatalytic reforming for hydrogen evolution is a sustainable process to convert the solar energy stored in hydrogen into chemical energy. This review comprehensively summarized the reported works in relevant areas, categorized by the reforming precursor (organic compound) such as methanol, ethanol and biomass. Mechanisms and characteristics for each category were deeply discussed. In addition, recommendations for future work were suggested. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progression in Photocatalytic Materials for Efficient Performance)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Pt nanowires-anchored dodecahedral Ag3PO4{110} constructed for significant enhancement of photocatalytic activity and anti-photocorrosion: spatial separation of charge carriers and photogenerated electron utilization
Authors: Jinnan Wang
Affiliation: Nanjing University
Abstract: Pt nanowires-anchored dodecahedral Ag3PO4{110} is constructed for organics photodegradation. The rhombic dodecahedral Ag3PO4 entirely bounded by {110}facets achieved high photocatalytic activity. Due to formation of Schottky barrier, Pt nanowires improved the charge carriers separation of Ag3PO4. Furthermore, it provided a fast expressway to transfer the photogenerated electrons, and prolonged the lifetime of charge carriers via long-distance transport, resulting in accumulation of holes on Ag3PO4 for organics degradation. More importantly, Pt nanowires improved the reduction potential of photogenerated electrons for O2 reduction to ·O2-, which enhanced the photocatalytic activity and anti-photocorrosion of Ag3PO4. 99.5% RhB could be removed over 0.5ωt% Pt nanowires-anchored dodecahedral Ag3PO4 within 10 min. Even after 10 cycles, it still remained high photocatalytic activity. PL, TRPL, UV-vis-DRS and photoelectrochemical analyses also showed high visible-light utilization and charge separation of this photocatalyst. Radical trapping experiments and EPR analysis demonstrated that holes were the main active specie for organics photodegradation.

Title: Recent progresses of metal halide perovskite-based materials in photocatalytic processes
Authors: Bianca-Maria Bresolin; Detlef W. Bahnemann; Mika Sillanpää
Affiliation: Laboratory of Green Chemistry, School of Engineering Science, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Sammonkatu 12, 50130 Mikkeli, Finland; Institut für Technische Chemie, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Callinstr. 3, D-30167 Hannover, Germany; Laboratory of Nano- and Quantum-Engineering (LNQE), Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz University Hannover, Schneiderberg 39, 9 D-30167 Hannover, Germany; Laboratory ‘‘Photoactive Nanocomposite Materials’’, Saint-Petersburg State University, Ulyanovskaya str. 1, Peterhof, 198504 11 Saint-Petersburg, Russia
Abstract: Recent years have witnessed an incredibly high fever in perovskite-based materials. Among this class, metal halide (ABX3, X = Cl, Br, I) perovskites have attracted a lot of attention in the past decade, due to excellent photophysical properties and a remarkable and fast development in photovoltaics and optoelectronics applications. The high extinction coefficients, optimal band gaps, high photoluminescence quantum yields, and long electron/hole diffusion lengths make them promising candidates in different solar-driven technologies. Currently, the halide perovskite-based researches have focused their attention on solar cells, light‐emitting diodes, photodetectors, lasers, X‐ray detectors or luminescent solar concentrators. In our review, a brief introduction on discovery and on the interesting properties of metal halide perovskites have been firstly presented, followed by a summary on the main representative and traditional applications and progresses based on the mentioned materials. However, the main objective of this article is to examine the recent progresses on perovskite-based materials in photocatalytic applications. In particular, this work summarizes some recent developments of inorganic and hybrid organic-inorganic halide perovskites used as photocatalysts for water splitting, carbon dioxide reduction, organic contaminant degradation and organic synthesis. Finally, a perspective on the future challenges and directions for a next‐generation of semiconductor-based photocatalyst is provided.

Title: Photoelectrochemical Study of Nb2O5-g-C3N4 Heterostructures for Future Applications as a Catalyst
Authors: Faryal Idrees; Detlef Bahnemann; Jianhua Hou3; Muhammad Tahir
Affiliation: Department of Physics, The University of Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan Institut für Technische Chemie, Laboratorium für Nano-und Quantenengineering, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover, Callinstrasse 3 D-30167, Hannover, Germany School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Yangzhou University 225000, Yangzhou, P.R China Department of Physics, The University of Lahore, Lahore, Pakistan
Abstract: The stimulating effect of catalytic activity and selectivity has increased the trend of tailoring the nanocrystals to obtain desired properties. A facile one-pot hydrothermal synthesis has been adopted to synthesize the Nb2O5-g-C3N4 heterostructures at different temperatures. The role of H2O2 has been observed over structural changes, the complete study has been provided. The significant change in the bandgap has been observed. On the other hand, how these structural changes affect the photoelectrochemical properties have been studied. The measurements have been performed with a 0.1 M Na2SO4 electrolyte and a 0.1 M Na2SO4 electrolyte with 10 vol% TEoA, to see the role of scavenger in photocatalytic studies. Impedance Spectroscopy, Mott-Schottky-measurement and an Open Circuit Potentials have been measured.

Title: Hydrogen Production by Photocatalytic Reforming of Naphthalene
Authors: O. Al-Madanat; R. Dillert; D. W. Bahnemann
Affiliation: Institut für Technische Chemie, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover, Callinstr. 3, D-30167 Hannover, Germany; Laboratorium für Nano- und Quantenengineering, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover, Schneiderberg 39, D-30167 Hannover, Germany; Laboratory “Photoactive Nanocomposite Materials”, Saint-Petersburg State University, Ulyanovskaya str. 1, Peterhof, Saint-Petersburg, 198504 Russia

Title: Visible Light-Driven Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting Using Hierarchically Constructed Ag-decorated MoS2/RGO/NiWO4 Z-scheme
Authors: Ibrahim Khan
Affiliation: King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM), Dhahran KSA, 31261
Abstract: An unprecedented Ag-decorated MoS2/RGO/NiWO4 (Ag-MRGON) Z-scheme heterojunction system is successfully fabricated using conventional hydrothermal method for photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting under simulated solar light. The fabricated system showed superb activity with applied bias photon-to-current efficiency (ABPE) up to 0.52%, which is too high to be compared with that achieved by pristine NiWO4 NPs (8.02 × 10-5 %), 17.3 times larger than pristine MoS2 (0.03%), and 4.3 times higher than MoS2/NiWO4 heterojunction (0.12%). It is found that employing RGO as a charge transmission bridge between MoS2 and NiWO4 along with the decoration with Ag NPs enhances the photocurrent density Ag-MRGON heterojunction to 3.9 mA/cm2, which is ~ 30, 9 and 3.5 times as high as that of the NiWO4, MoS2, and MoS2/NiWO4 heterojunction, respectively. Moreover, Ag-MRGON heterojunction shows excellent photocurrent stability of almost 2h with the lowest onset potential of 0.61 VRHE, which shifts ~ 220 mV, 190 mV, and 120 mV cathodically relative to pristine NiWO4, MoS2, and MoS2/NiWO4 heterojunction, correspondingly. The remarkably enhanced PEC water splitting performance could be attributed to the efficient separation and transport of the photogenerated electron-hole pairs originated from the electron flow through the RGO electron mediator in the fabricated Z-scheme Ag-MRGON heterojunction. It can also be attributed to the excellent improvement for visible light absorption due to Ag surface plasmon resonance (SPR) effect. The current results provide meaningful guidance for the fabrication of RGO/Ag-based Z-scheme layered transition metal dichalcogenides systems, which are promising for water splitting under visible light irradiation and related applications.

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