Semiconductor photocatalysis gained reputation in the early 1970s when Fujishima and Honda revealed the potential of TiO2 to split water in to hydrogen and oxygen in a photoelectrochemical cell. Their work provided the base for the development of semiconductor photocatalysis for the environmental remediation and energy applications. Photoactivity of some semiconductors was found to be low due to larger band gap energy and higher electron-hole pair recombination rate. To avoid these problems, the development of visible light responsive photocatalytic materials by different approaches, such as metal and/or non-metal doping, co-doping, coupling of semiconductors, composites and heterojunctions materials synthesis has been widely investigated and explored in systematic manner. This chapter emphasizes on the different type of tailored photocatalyst materials having the enhanced visible light absorption properties, lower band gap energy and recombination rate of electron-hole pairs and production of reactive radical species. Visible light active semiconductors for the environmental remediation purposes, particularly for water treatment and disinfection are also discussed in detail. Studies on the photocatalytic degradation of emerging organic compounds like cyanotoxins, VOCs, phenols, pharmaceuticals, etc., by employing variety of modified semiconductors, are summarized, and a mechanistic aspects of the photocatalysis has been discussed.
Part of the book: Concepts of Semiconductor Photocatalysis