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.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    Photoredox transformations are achieved with infrared light by using triplet fusion upconversion that converts infrared into visible light, enabling the use of photoredox chemistry on larger scales and through barriers that are impenetrable by visible light.

    • Benjamin D. Ravetz
    • , Andrew B. Pun
    • , Emily M. Churchill
    • , Daniel N. Congreve
    • , Tomislav Rovis
    •  & Luis M. Campos
    Nature 565, 343-346
  • Research |

    Silicon–hydride materials are attractive candidates for the photoreduction of carbon dioxide into fuels, although they have only worked stoichiometrically so far. Now, Ozin and co-workers show how decorating silicon nanosheets with palladium nanoparticles renders the process catalytic.

    • Chenxi Qian
    • , Wei Sun
    • , Darius L. H. Hung
    • , Chenyue Qiu
    • , Meysam Makaremi
    • , Sai Govind Hari Kumar
    • , Lili Wan
    • , Mireille Ghoussoub
    • , Thomas E. Wood
    • , Meikun Xia
    • , Athanasios A. Tountas
    • , Young Feng Li
    • , Lu Wang
    • , Yuchan Dong
    • , Ilya Gourevich
    • , Chandra Veer Singh
    •  & Geoffrey A. Ozin
    Nature Catalysis 2, 46-54
  • Research |

    In native photosystem II (PSII), multi-chromophore antennas surround the reaction centre, capturing light and triggering the quantized (four-flashes) photo-oxidation of water to oxygen. The PSII ‘quantasome’ is the most efficient photo-electrolyser built so far. An artificial quantasome has now been developed; it is specifically designed for oxygen evolution by self-assembling light-harvesting-perylene bisimides with a ruthenium polyoxometalate water-oxidation catalyst.

    • Marcella Bonchio
    • , Zois Syrgiannis
    • , Max Burian
    • , Nadia Marino
    • , Erica Pizzolato
    • , Konstantin Dirian
    • , Francesco Rigodanza
    • , Giulia Alice Volpato
    • , Giuseppina La Ganga
    • , Nicola Demitri
    • , Serena Berardi
    • , Heinz Amenitsch
    • , Dirk M. Guldi
    • , Stefano Caramori
    • , Carlo Alberto Bignozzi
    • , Andrea Sartorel
    •  & Maurizio Prato
  • Research |

    The SN2 reaction, a fundamental process associated with ionic chemistry, can be incorporated into a photochemical approach to creating radicals from alkyl electrophiles. This method occurs readily under visible-light irradiation, exhibits broad functional-group tolerance, and enables the formation of open-shell intermediates from substrates that are incompatible with traditional radical-generating strategies.

    • Bertrand Schweitzer-Chaput
    • , Matthew A. Horwitz
    • , Eduardo de Pedro Beato
    •  & Paolo Melchiorre
  • Research | | open

    Superchiral light can be utilized to promote asymmetric photochemical reactions. Here the authors show that superchiral light imparts greater chiral bias to trigger asymmetric photo-polymerization reactions from initially achiral diacetylene monomers and enhanced optical dissymmetry in polydiacetylene films.

    • Chenlu He
    • , Guang Yang
    • , Yan Kuai
    • , Sizhen Shan
    • , Lin Yang
    • , Jingang Hu
    • , Douguo Zhang
    • , Qijin Zhang
    •  & Gang Zou

News and Comment

  • 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
  • News and Views |

    Multiscale modelling provides atomic-level insights into how oxygen vacancy defect nucleation leads to the formation of the visible light photocatalyst black titania.

    • Vassiliki-Alexandra Glezakou
    •  & Roger Rousseau
    Nature Materials 17, 856-857
  • News and Views |

    Heterogeneous photocatalysts are rarely employed in industry for the synthesis of commodity chemicals due to efficiency problems. Now, a photochromic Bi2WO6–x/amorphous-BiOCl composite is reported, which features a remarkable activity for the photocatalytic oxidation of toluene into benzaldehyde and benzoic acid.

    • Anna Kubacka
    •  & Marcos Fernández-García
    Nature Catalysis 1, 643-644
  • News and Views |

    The generation of hot electrons in plasmonic nanostructures is of scientific and technological interest, putting the community under pressure to better understand the hot-electron mechanisms and to increase the light conversion efficiency of plasmonic nanosystems for chemical reactions and photodetection.

    • Rachel Won
    Nature Photonics 12, 446-447