The ongoing energy crisis and global warming caused by the massive usage of fossil fuels and emission of CO2 into atmosphere continue to motivate researchers to investigate possible solutions. The conversion of CO2 into value-added solar fuels by photocatalysts has been suggested as an intriguing solution to simultaneously mitigate global warming and provide a source of energy in an environmentally friendly manner. There has been considerable effort for nearly four decades investigating the performance of CO2 conversion by photocatalysts, much of which has focused on structure or materials modification. In particular, the application of low-dimensional structures for photocatalysts is a promising pathway. Depending on the materials and fabrication methods, low-dimensional nanomaterials can be formed in zero dimensional structures such as quantum dots, one-dimensional structures such as nanowires, nanotubes, nanobelts, and nanorods, and two-dimensional structures such as nanosheets and thin films. These nanostructures increase the effective surface area and possess unique electrical and optical properties, including the quantum confinement effect in semiconductors or the localized surface plasmon resonance effect in noble metals at the nanoscale. These unique properties can play a vital role in enhancing the performance of photocatalytic CO2 conversion into solar fuels by engineering the nanostructures. In this review, we provide an overview of photocatalytic CO2 conversion and especially focus on nanostructured photocatalysts. The fundamental mechanism of photocatalytic CO2 conversion is discussed and recent progresses of low-dimensional photocatalysts for efficient conversion of CO2 into solar fuels are presented.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Environmental Science
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry