Title: Visible light driven photocatalysis mediated via ligand-to-metal charge transfer (LMCT): an alternative approach to solar activation of titania
Authors: Guan Zhang, Gonu Kim, and Wonyong Choi
Journal: Energy & Environmental Science
Visible light harvesting or utilization through semiconductor photocatalysis is a key technology for solar chemical conversion processes. Although titania nanoparticles are popular as a base material of photocatalysis, the lack of visible light activity needs to be overcome. This mini-review is focused on an uncommon approach to visible light activation of titania: the ligand-to-metal charge transfer (LMCT) that takes place between TiO2 nanoparticles and surface adsorbates under visible light irradiation. We discuss a basic concept of photoinduced LMCT and the recent advances in LMCT-mediated visible light photocatalysis which has been applied in environmental remediation and solar energy conversion. Although the LMCT processes have been less investigated and limited in photocatalytic applications compared with other popular visible light activation methods such as impurity doping and dye sensitization, they provide lots of possibilities and flexibility in that a wide variety of organic or inorganic compounds can form surface complexes with TiO2 and introduce a new absorption band in the visible light region. The LMCT complexes may serve as a visible light sensitizer that initiates the photocatalytic conversion of various substrates or the self-degradation of the ligand complexes (usually pollutants) themselves. We summarized and discussed various LMCT photocatalytic systems and their characteristics. The LMCT-mediated activation of titania and other wide bandgap semiconductors has great potential to be developed as a more general method of solar energy utilization in photocatalytic systems. More systematic design and utilization of LMCT complexes on semiconductors are warranted to advance the solar-driven chemical conversion processes.