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Title: Molecular-Level Insights into Photocatalysis from Scanning Probe Microscopy Studies on TiO2(110)

The field of heterogeneous photocatalysis has grown considerably in the decades since Fujishima and Honda's ground-breaking publications of photoelectrochemistry on TiO2. Numerous review articles continue to point to both progress made in the use of heterogeneous materials (such as TiO2) to perform photoconversion processes, and the many opportunities and challenges in heterogeneous photocatalysis research such as solar energy conversion and environmental remediation. The past decade has also seen an increase in the use of molecular-level approaches applied to model single crystal surfaces in an effort to obtain new insights into photocatalytic phenomena. In particular, scanning probe techniques (SPM) have enabled researchers to take a ‘nanoscale’ approach to photocatalysis that includes interrogation of the reactivities of specific sites and adsorbates on a model photocatalyst surface. The rutile TiO2(110) surface has become the prototypical oxide single crystal surface for fundamental studies of many interfacial phenomena. In particular, TiO2(110) has become an excellent model surface for probing photochemical and photocatalytic reactions at the molecular level. A variety of experimental approaches have emerged as being ideally suited for studying photochemical reactions on TiO2(110), including desorption-oriented approaches and electronic spectroscopies, but perhaps the most promising techniques for evaluating site-specific properties are those of SPM. Inmore » this review, we highlight the growing use of SPM techniques in providing molecular-level insights into surface photochemistry on the model photocatalyst surface of rutile TiO2(110). Our objective is to both illustrate the unique knowledge that scanning probe techniques have already provided the field of photocatalysis, and also to motivate a new generation of effort into the use of such approaches to obtain new insights into the molecular level details of photochemical events occurring at interfaces. Discussion will start with an examination of how scanning probe techniques are being used to characterize the TiO2(110) surface in ways that are relevant to photocatalysis. We will then discuss specific classes of photochemical reaction on TiO2(110) for which SPM has proven indispensible in providing unique molecular-level insights, and conclude with discussion of future areas in which SPM studies may prove valuable to photocatalysis on TiO2. This work was supported by the US Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Chemical Sciences, Geosciences & Biosciences. I.L. was partially supported by a Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) Chemical Imaging Initiative project. PNNL is a multiprogram national laboratory operated for DOE by Battelle.« less
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Chemical Reviews, 113(6):4428-4455
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
photocatalysis; TiO2; scanning probe microscopy; review