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).
Keywords: Photocatalysis, Nanomaterial, Semiconductor photocatalysis, Plasmonic photocatalysis, Selective organic transformation.
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