Photocatalytic Materials: New Perspectives and Challenges

A special issue of Crystals (ISSN 2073-4352). This special issue belongs to the section "Materials for Energy Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2024 | Viewed by 3223

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China
Interests: photocatalysis; catalytic conversion of biomass; solid waste utilization

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Guest Editor
Institute for Advanced Materials and Technology, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, China
Interests: photo(electro)catalytic water splitting; photoelectrochemical cathodic protection of metals; photocatalytic pollutant degradation

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Guest Editor
National Engineering Research Center for Intelligent Electrical Vehicle Power System, College of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Qingdao University, Qingdao 266071, China
Interests: photo(electro)catalytic water splitting; photocatalytic CO2 reduction; photocatalytic pollutant degradation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Photocatalysis is a green and sustainable technology that can directly convert renewable solar energy into chemical energy, holding the potential to effectively tackle the economic and environmental challenges associated with fossil fuels. By utilizing solar energy as a driving force, exciting photocatalysts generate photocarrier charges, triggering various reactions, including water splitting, carbon dioxide reduction, ammonia synthesis, biomass conversion, cancer treatment, self-cleaning, and pollutant degradation. Among these, photocatalysts play a crucial role in the conversion of light energy, directly impacting the thermodynamic trends and kinetic efficiency of catalysis. Various methods such as morphological engineering, heterojunction structures, bandgap modulation, element doping, and crystal facet control have proven effective in enhancing the catalytic performance of photocatalytic materials. However, the development of low-cost, highly active, and long-lasting photocatalytic materials remains a significant challenge. New mechanisms, processes, and novel discoveries involved in the photocatalytic reaction process continue to warrant widespread attention. We eagerly anticipate receiving your contributions, including both original research papers and reviews, at your earliest convenience. This will enable us to showcase your outstanding findings to a broad audience through open-access publication, offering the research community new perspectives on photocatalysis and the evolving materials and applications in this field.

Prof. Dr. Kai Yu
Dr. Yue Chang
Prof. Dr. Minmin Han
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • novel semiconductor photocatalyst
  • nanostructure photocatalyst
  • photoanode materials and photocathode materials
  • machine learning for photocatalysts
  • heterojunction photocatalyst
  • photocatalytic biomass conversion
  • photocatalytic CO2 reduction
  • photoelectrochemical behavior and performance
  • photocatalytic degradation
  • photocatalytic water treatment
  • photo(electro)catalytic hydrogen generation
  • photocatalytic nitrogen fixation

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

20 pages, 3398 KiB  
Article
Photocatalytic Decomposition of Amoxicillin Using Zinc Ferrite Nanoparticles
by Aya Jezzini, Yujin Chen, Anne Davidson, Gilles Wallez, Tayssir Hamieh and Joumana Toufaily
Crystals 2024, 14(3), 291; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst14030291 - 21 Mar 2024
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Abstract
Catalysts enriched in Zinc ferrite (ZFO) were synthesized using coprecipitation and hydrothermal methods. Mixtures of crystalline nanoparticles (ZFO and α-Fe2O3, several allotropic varieties of FeO) were characterized by various techniques such as X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM, [...] Read more.
Catalysts enriched in Zinc ferrite (ZFO) were synthesized using coprecipitation and hydrothermal methods. Mixtures of crystalline nanoparticles (ZFO and α-Fe2O3, several allotropic varieties of FeO) were characterized by various techniques such as X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM, SEM), N2 sorption, UV-visible spectrophotometry (UV-Vis) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). After detailed characterizations, the catalytic performance of the solids (1 g/L) in the degradation of amoxicillin (AMX) (10 mg/L) as an antibiotic pollutant in water was evaluated. In addition, we used air as the oxygen source and adjusted the pH to 5.0. Consequently, the catalysts obtained via the hydrothermal method HT-ZFO had a high activity (100% of AMX removal in less than 100 min when an LED (75 W) light was used) compared to a similar mixture of oxides with graphene HT-ZFO-GO (a longer time of 150 min) that was necessary for the complete degradation of AMX. Impregnation with an aqueous solution containing 80 mg of GO obtained using Hummer’s method, reduced into RGO by an ultrasound treatment, enhances the initial reaction rate but is associated with a prolonged time for complete AMX removal (10 ppm in water) that we attribute to its spontaneous corrosion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photocatalytic Materials: New Perspectives and Challenges)
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13 pages, 4736 KiB  
Article
3d (Co and Mn) and 4d (Ag) Transition Metal-Doped ZnO Nanoparticles Anchored on CdZnS for the Photodegradation of Rhodamine B
by Ann Wangari Mureithi, Chen Song, Thi Kim Tran Tran, Hawi N. Nyiera, Xueni Huang, Tejas S. Bhosale, Abiodun Daniel Aderibigbe, Ranjana Burman, Steven L. Suib and Jing Zhao
Crystals 2024, 14(1), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst14010041 - 28 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1117
Abstract
The construction of a heterojunction by coupling two semiconductor photocatalysts with appropriate band positions can effectively reduce the recombination of photogenerated charge carriers, thus improving their catalytic efficiency. Recently, ZnO photocatalysts have been highly sought after in the synthesis of semiconductor heterostructures due [...] Read more.
The construction of a heterojunction by coupling two semiconductor photocatalysts with appropriate band positions can effectively reduce the recombination of photogenerated charge carriers, thus improving their catalytic efficiency. Recently, ZnO photocatalysts have been highly sought after in the synthesis of semiconductor heterostructures due to their wide band gap and low conduction band position. Particularly, transition metal-doped ZnO nanoparticles are attractive due to the additional charge separation caused by temporary electron trapping by the dopant ions as well as the improved absorption of visible light. In this paper, we compare the effect of doping ZnO nanoparticles with 3d (Co and Mn) and 4d (Ag) transition metals on the structural and optical properties of ZnO/CdZnS heterostructures and their photocatalytic performance. With the help of scanning electron microscopy, the successful anchoring of doped and undoped ZnO nanoparticles onto CdZnS nanostructures was confirmed. Among the different heterostructures, Ag-doped ZnO/CdZnS exhibited the best visible-light-driven degradation of rhodamine B at a rate of 1.0 × 10−2 min−1. The photocurrent density analysis showed that AgZnO/CdZnS has the highest amount of photogenerated charges, leading to the highest photocatalytic performance. The reduction in the photocatalytic performance in the presence of hole scavengers and hydroxyl radical scavengers confirmed that the availability of photogenerated electrons and holes plays a pivotal role in the degradation of rhodamine B. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photocatalytic Materials: New Perspectives and Challenges)
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12 pages, 2285 KiB  
Article
The Structural and Electronic Properties of the Ag5 Atomic Quantum Cluster Interacting with CO2, CH4, and H2O Molecules
by Moteb Alotaibi, Turki Alotaibi, Majed Alshammari and Ali K. Ismael
Crystals 2023, 13(12), 1691; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst13121691 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 980
Abstract
Recent advancements in experimental approaches have made it possible to synthesize silver (Ag5) atomic quantum clusters (AQCs), which have shown a great potential in photocatalysis. This study employs the generalized gradient approximation (GGA) density functional theory (DFT) to explore the adsorption [...] Read more.
Recent advancements in experimental approaches have made it possible to synthesize silver (Ag5) atomic quantum clusters (AQCs), which have shown a great potential in photocatalysis. This study employs the generalized gradient approximation (GGA) density functional theory (DFT) to explore the adsorption of CO2, CH4, and H2O molecules on the Ag5 AQC. Our investigations focus on the structural and electronic properties of the molecules in Ag5 AQC systems. This involves adsorption energy simulations, charge transfer, charge density difference, and the density of states for the modelled systems. Our simulations suggest that CH4 and H2O molecules exhibit higher adsorption energies on the Ag5 AQC compared to CO2 molecules. Remarkably, the presence of CH4 molecule leads to a significant deformation in the Ag5 AQC structure. The structure reforms from a bipyramidal to trapezoidal shape. This study also reveals that the Ag5 AQC donates electrons to CO2 and CH4 molecules, resulting in an oxidation state. In contrast, gaining charges from H2O molecules results in a reduced state. We believe the proposed predictions provide valuable insights for future experimental investigations of the interaction behaviour between carbon dioxide, methane, water molecules, and Ag5 sub-nanometre clusters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photocatalytic Materials: New Perspectives and Challenges)
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