One of the most promising methods for conversion and storage of solar energy is in the form of the chemical bonds of an energy carrier, such as hydrogen or light hydrocarbons. However, the traditional methods to harness and store solar energy are simply too expensive to be implemented on a large scale. It has been documented that the recombination of photo-induced charge carriers is the greatest source of inefficiency in photocatalytic systems. In the last decade, graphene derivatives and their functionalized nanostructures were extensively utilized for various roles to improve the efficiency of photocatalytic solar fuel generation. These include photocatalyst/redox active sites via band gap and defect density engineering, charge acceptor due to their excellent carrier mobility, a solid-state charge mediator by electronic band alignment, and light absorber by taking advantage of their photoluminescence characteristics at the nanoscale. This chapter aims to provide an authoritative and in-depth review on the properties and application of graphene derivatives, as well as the recent advances in the design of graphene-based photocatalytic systems. The knowledge extracted from the presented materials can be applied to other applications dealing with surface chemistry, interfacial science, and optoelectronic device fabrication.
Part of the book: Visible-Light Photocatalysis of Carbon-Based Materials