Toward a Comprehensive Understanding of Photocatalysis: What Systematic Studies and Alcohol Surface Chemistry on TiO2(110) Have to Offer for Future Developments

Moritz Eder, Martin Tschurl, Ueli Heiz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Heterogeneous photocatalytic systems are usually described based on electrochemistry, which the vast majority of interpretations and strategies for optimizing photocatalysts rely on. Charge carrier dynamics are usually in the spotlight, whereas the surface chemistry of the photocatalyst is neglected. This is unjustified, because studies on alcohol photoreforming on metal-decorated rutile single crystals revealed that the electrochemical reaction model is not generally applicable. Hence, many photocatalytic reactions may proceed in a different manner and the thermal chemistry needs to be accounted for. The new mechanism is particularly relevant for reactions in gaseous environments in the absence of solvated ionic species. Here, we compare both mechanisms and highlight their differences and consequences for photocatalysis. Based on alcohol photochemistry, we demonstrate the importance of thermal reactions in photocatalytic mechanisms and the relevance of systematic studies in different environments for a holistic understanding of photocatalysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6193-6201
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Volume14
Issue number26
DOIs
StatePublished - 6 Jul 2023
Externally publishedYes

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