Publications by Year: 2018

Athanasekou CP, Likodimos V, Falaras P. Recent developments of TiO2 photocatalysis involving advanced oxidation and reduction reactions in water. Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering [Internet]. 2018;6:7386-7394. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Advanced nanostructures of titanium dioxide are intensively investigated for environmental protection. The latest developments in the field pay special attention to innovative and highly performing titania materials (anatase/rutile mixed-phase nanocomposites, anion-doped core-shell nanostructures, self-organized nanotubes, photonic crystals and their modifications with graphene oxide and metal nanoparticles) with original functionalities and tailored properties (visible light activated photocatalysts-VLA), the elucidation of the corresponding mechanisms involving interaction of light with matter at the nanoscale and resulting photoinduced electron transfer reactions. These materials are also considered as key components for the design and fabrication of devices (photocatalytic reactors) for efficient degradation and/or transformation of emerging environmental contaminants. The presence of a TiO2 photocatalyst on the asymmetric membrane surface and pores insures simultaneous pollutant retention and photodegradation, permitting continuous long-term device operation without fouling, practical absence of concentrated retentate and cost effective production of clean water. Focusing on recent investigations of our group concerning the use of innovative titania nanostructured photocatalysts, the present work attempts to explore novel trends and present perspectives of TiO2 photocatalysis inside and outside the well-established frame of advanced oxidation processes (AOPs), expanding the field borders by including advanced reduction processes (ARPs) and relating technological applications (ARTs). © 2018 Elsevier Ltd.
Likodimos V. Photonic crystal-assisted visible light activated TiO2 photocatalysis. Applied Catalysis B: Environmental [Internet]. 2018;230:269-303. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Photonic crystals have been established as unique periodic structures to promote photon capture and control over light-matter interactions. Their application in semiconductor, mainly TiO2, photocatalysis has emerged as a promising structural modification to boost light harvesting of photocatalytic materials by means of slow photons i.e. light propagation at reduced group velocity near the edges of the photonic band gap (PBG). In this review, the latest advances in the development of TiO2 photonic crystal photocatalysts are highlighted, targeting primarily on the design, fabrication, structure-activity and performance evaluation of visible light activated (VLA) TiO2 inverse opals in the degradation of water and air pollutants as well as water splitting. Up to date work demonstrating the amplification effect of PBG engineered photonic crystals on the photocatalytic and photoelectrochemical performance under UV excitation is accordingly presented. Recent developments on the combination of enhanced light trapping, mainly via slow photons, mass transport and adsorption of macro/mesoporous inverse opals with targeted compositional and electronic modifications currently pursued to promote charge separation and visible light activation, i.e. dye sensitization, non-metal and self-doping, coupling with metallic nanoparticles and plasmonic effects, heterostructuring with narrow band gap semiconductors, quantum dots and graphene as well as the use of alternative metal oxide photocatalysts beyond TiO2 are thoroughly reviewed with respect to their potential for key improvements of the photocatalytic efficiency under visible light. Pertinent challenges and future prospects in photonic crystal-assisted VLA photocatalysts are addressed aimed at advanced photon management routes that could step up photocatalytic applications. © 2018 Elsevier B.V.