Photocatalysis

Photocatalysis is a type of catalysis that results in the modification of the rate of a photoreaction - a chemical reaction that involves the absorption of light by one or more reacting species - by adding substances (catalysts) that participate in the chemical reaction without being consumed.

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Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research | | open

    Tsuji–Trost allylation is a traditional method for selective C-C bond formation that involves the use of palladium-based catalysts. Here, the authors report a metal-free, photocatalytic allylation of several heterocycles, amines and alcohols, which can be easily tuned towards the Z- or E- allylated product.

    • Ana María Martínez-Gualda
    • , Rafael Cano
    • , Leyre Marzo
    • , Raúl Pérez-Ruiz
    • , Javier Luis-Barrera
    • , Rubén Mas-Ballesté
    • , Alberto Fraile
    • , Víctor A. de la Peña O’Shea
    •  & José Alemán
  • Research | | open

    While photoelectrochemical water splitting offers a low-cost, integrated means to generate fuel from light, poor charge carrier transport limits performances. Here, authors embed laser-synthesized colloids in bismuth vanadate photoanodes to boost charge carrier mobilities and enhance photocurrents.

    • Jie Jian
    • , Youxun Xu
    • , Xiaokun Yang
    • , Wei Liu
    • , Maosen Fu
    • , Huiwu Yu
    • , Fei Xu
    • , Fan Feng
    • , Lichao Jia
    • , Dennis Friedrich
    • , Roel van de Krol
    •  & Hongqiang Wang
  • Research |

    Biomass can be used to scavenge photogenerated holes in photocatalytic hydrogen production, but the oxidized molecules that form are not always useful products. Here, the authors use Ru-ZnIn2S4 to photocatalyse the dehydrogenative C−C coupling of lignocellulose-derived methylfurans, forming both hydrogen and diesel fuel precursors.

    • Nengchao Luo
    • , Tiziano Montini
    • , Jian Zhang
    • , Paolo Fornasiero
    • , Emiliano Fonda
    • , Tingting Hou
    • , Wei Nie
    • , Jianmin Lu
    • , Junxue Liu
    • , Marc Heggen
    • , Long Lin
    • , Changtong Ma
    • , Min Wang
    • , Fengtao Fan
    • , Shengye Jin
    •  & Feng Wang
  • Research | | open

    Designing systems to drive endergonic reactions using light as an energy source is a major challenge. Here a photoswitchable ligand is used to generate unstable cyclic tetravanadate species in solution.

    • Hanno Sell
    • , Anika Gehl
    • , Daniel Plaul
    • , Frank D. Sönnichsen
    • , Christian Schütt
    • , Felix Köhler
    • , Kim Steinborn
    •  & Rainer Herges
  • Research | | open

    Polymorphs, compounds with identical chemical stoichiometries yet different atomic configurations, expand the range of potential chemical properties and new applications. Here, authors show rhombohedral indium oxides to be highly active and selective for photocatalytic CO2 hydrogenation.

    • Tingjiang Yan
    • , Lu Wang
    • , Yan Liang
    • , Meysam Makaremi
    • , Thomas E. Wood
    • , Ying Dai
    • , Baibiao Huang
    • , Abdinoor A. Jelle
    • , Yuchan Dong
    •  & Geoffrey A. Ozin
  • Research | | open

    Plasmonic nanomaterials offer new frontiers as photocatalysis and sensor materials, yet elucidating factors controlling each is a challenge. Here, authors examine the role of electric fields in photocatalysis and biomolecule sensing abilities of peptide-nanotubesupported silver nanoparticles.

    • Sawsan Almohammed
    • , Sebastian Tade Barwich
    • , Andrew K. Mitchell
    • , Brian J. Rodriguez
    •  & James H. Rice

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Photocatalytic H2 production using semiconductors is a promising approach to store solar energy as a chemical fuel, but the oxidizing power of the excited holes is often wasted. Now, holes are harnessed in a dehydrocoupling strategy that simultaneously produces H2 and diesel fuel precursors from biomass-derived molecules.

    • Guanqun Han
    •  & Yujie Sun
  • News and Views |

    Two recent back-to-back meetings conveyed a common set of ongoing challenges for the fields of organocatalysis, photoredox catalysis and photochemistry.

    • Craig P. Johnston
    Nature Chemistry 11, 400-401
  • News and Views |

    The direct formation of C–N bonds onto arenes provides a simple route to synthesize a variety of important products. Now, formation of a highly polarized, aminium radical cation enables direct C–H amination, allowing the coupling of an exceptionally broad range of alkyl amines and arenes.

    • David Nagib
    Nature Chemistry 11, 396-398
  • News and Views |

    Covalent organic frameworks (COFs), whose heterogeneous backbones can be easily tuned at the molecular level, are promising photocatalysts for artificial photosynthesis. Sulfone-rich crystalline, wettable COFs have now been shown to exhibit high photocatalytic hydrogen evolution rates with platinum nanoparticles as co-catalysts.

    • Tanmay Banerjee
    •  & Bettina V. Lotsch
    Nature Chemistry 10, 1175-1177
  • News and Views |

    Photocatalytic water splitting is a route to clean H2, but approaches based on hybrid semiconductor–metal nanoparticles often rely on sacrificial reagents to complete the oxidation half of the overall reaction. New research uses CdS nanocrystals modified with metallic and molecular co-catalysts to simultaneously produce H2 and O2 from water using visible light.

    • Uri Banin
    •  & Yuval Ben-Shahar
    Nature Energy 3, 824-825