The ongoing global energy and environmental issues warrant the development of environmental catalysts for decomposing pollutants in water and air by utilizing solar energy named as “solar environmental catalysts.” This chapter describes the recent studies on a novel class of solar environmental catalysts consisting of TiO2 and molecular-scale first-row transition metal oxide clusters (or metal oxocomplexes) on the surface (MOs/TiO2). The TiO2 surface modification with the oxocomplexes by the chemisorption–calcination cycle (CCC) technique presents a novel band engineering for fine-tuning the band energy. The unique physicochemical and electronic properties of MOs/TiO2 give rise to the outstanding photocatalytic activity for the decomposition of organic pollutants. The combination with the rapidly growing technique for preparation of TiO2 nanostructures allows us to expect further improvement of the performances and the wide application to the solar chemical transformation for producing useful substances.
Part of the book: Advanced Catalytic Materials