Advanced Materials, Vol.28, No.43, 9454-9477, 2016
Smart Utilization of Carbon Dots in Semiconductor Photocatalysis
Efficient capture of solar energy will be critical to meeting the energy needs of the future. Semiconductor photocatalysis is expected to make an important contribution in this regard, delivering both energy carriers (especially H-2) and valuable chemical feedstocks under direct sunlight. Over the past few years, carbon dots (CDs) have emerged as a promising new class of metal-free photocatalyst, displaying semiconductor-like photoelectric properties and showing excellent performance in a wide variety of photoelectrochemical and photocatalytic applications owing to their ease of synthesis, unique structure, adjustable composition, ease of surface functionalization, outstanding electron-transfer efficiency and tunable light-harvesting range (from deep UV to the near-infrared). Here, recent advances in the rational design of CDs-based photocatalysts are highlighted and their applications in photocatalytic environmental remediation, water splitting into hydrogen, CO2 reduction, and organic synthesis are discussed.