Recent advance of graphene/semiconductor composite nanocatalysts: synthesis, mechanism, applications and perspectives

Abstract Graphene possesses many superior properties which make it an ideal matrix to support semiconductors. Recently, graphene/semiconductor composites have been applied increasingly in environmental remediation and energy production. This review provided a general overview of the latest research results of graphene/semiconductor composites nanocatalysts. Firstly, synthetic methods of graphene/semiconductor composites were summarized. The roles of graphene in promoting semiconductor photocatalytic performance including increasing the adsorption of reactants, expanding the range of light absorption and intensity, acting as a photosensitizer and electron transfer medium were then emphasized. Next, the performance and mechanisms in pollutants removal, disinfection, hydrogen evolution, CO2 reduction, selective oxidation, nitroaromatics reduction, sensing, supercapacitors and other fields were presented. Besides, the toxicity of graphene and graphene/semiconductor composites was also introduced to help understand the impact on living systems of the environment. Finally, perspectives and challenges of graphene/semiconductor composites for future development were proposed. This review gives a comprehensive and updated overview of graphene/semiconductor composites for environmental and energy applications and is expected to shed light on the further study in this exciting area.
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