Semiconductors have been evaluated to heterogeneous photocatalysis degradation of recalcitrant contaminants in aqueous media due to the capacity of mineralizing these compounds under UV or visible light irradiation. However, this process has the inherent feature of photogenerated charges recombination and the high bandgap energy of the electronic structure of some semiconductors that can reduce the formation of reactive oxygen species, which are responsible for the compound degradation. In this context, structural modifications in semiconductors have been proposed to enhance the photocatalytic activity, such as doping processes with elements that are capable of generating superficial defects that capture the formed electrons, avoiding the recombination, or increasing the density of –OH groups or water molecules on the surface of the catalyst, which can enhance the formation of hydroxyl radicals. Therefore, this brief review is proposed to show the role of lanthanides in the TiO2 doping and the synthesis method applied, as well as the results discussed in the literature.
Part of the book: Photocatalysts