Semiconductor and plasmonic photocatalysis for selective organic transformations

Xiaoxin Zou, Zhimin Tao, Tewodros Asefa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


With the ever-increasing demand for environmentally benign synthetic routes that can lead to desirable organic products, photocatalytic techniques have become more appealing than conventional synthetic methods because the former make it possible selective chemical transformations of various organic reactions with the help of sunlight as the source of the energy for the reactions. At the heart of photocatalytic chemical transformations are materials called photocatalysts, without which the photocatalytic reactions either do not take place or occur only in a very sluggish manner. In this review, we highlight the recent research efforts toward the synthesis of new photocatalytic materials, especially at nanoscale, and their photocatalytic properties and photo-induced catalytic mechanisms when applied in selective organic transformations. In the discussion, particular attention is paid to two major types of photocatalysts: semiconductor- based photocatalysts and plasmonic metal-based photocatalysts. With regard to the photocatalytic reactions, emphasis is given to selective oxidation of alcohols and hydrocarbons and selective reduction of nitro compounds into value-added products and synthetic fuels (e.g., selective oxidation of alkanes or methane to alcohols or methanol).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1274-1287
Number of pages14
JournalCurrent Organic Chemistry
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Aug 15 2013


  • Nanomaterial
  • Photocatalysis
  • Plasmonic photocatalysis
  • Selective organic transformation
  • Semiconductor photocatalysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry

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