by KATHERINE VILLA GOMEZ, ICIQ
Photocatalysis is an environmentally friendly approach that uses the energy of light to accelerate chemical reactions. It offers the possibility of using renewable sources to address important societal challenges, such as water pollution and energy shortage. The rational design of photocatalytic materials with defined nanostructures and specific surface properties can lead to superior performances in comparison with bulk systems. The first part of this talk will focus on the fundamental principles of photocatalytic processes for the generation of solar fuels and water decontamination. Then, the different approaches for improving the photocatalytic efficiencies, including doping of semiconductors, heterostructure designs and surface modification will be presented. The versatility and potential of nanostructured photocatalysts for generating valuable fuels, such as hydrogen and methanol, and removing microbial and chemical contaminants from liquid and solid matrixes under visible-light irradiation will be demonstrated as well.