Semiconductor photocatalysis has been considered a potentially promising approach for renewable energy and environmental remediation with abundant solar light. However, the currently available semiconductor materials are generally limited by either the harvesting of solar energy or insufficient charge separation ability. To overcome the serious drawbacks of narrow light-response range and low efficiency in most photocatalysts, many strategies have been developed in the past decades. This article reviews the recent advancements of visible-light-driven photocatalysts and attempts to provide a comprehensive update of some strategies to improve the efficiency, such as doping, coupling with graphene, precipitating with metal particles, crystal growth design, and heterostructuring. A brief introduction to photocatalysts is given first, followed by an explanation of the basic rules and mechanisms of photocatalysts. This chapter focuses on recent progress in exploring new strategies to design TiO2-based photocatalysts that aim to extend the light absorption of TiO2 from UV wavelengths into the visible region. Subsequently, some strategies are also used to endow visible-light-driven Ag3PO4 with high activity in photocatalytic reactions. Next, a novel approach, using long afterglow phosphor, has been used to associate a fluorescence-emitting support to continue the photocatalytic reaction after turning off the light. The last section proposes some challenges to design high efficiency of photocatalytic systems.
Part of the book: Advanced Catalytic Materials