Traditional semiconductor photocatalysts with a wide band gap can achieve visible light responses through element doping. However, the localized levels introduced by impurities may act as recombination centers of charge carriers, which may lower the photocatalytic activity of the doped materials. The solid solution method can realize precise regulation of the band gap and band edge positions of materials to obtain an optimal balance between their optical absorption and redox potentials. The solid solution method is therefore an effective approach to improve the photocatalytic performance of semiconductor materials. In the present review, considering our recent research, we briefly discuss the latest progress of the solid solution method to tune the band gap and band edge positions of photocatalytic materials as well as examining its influence on carrier separation and migration properties. Finally, challenges and prospects for further development of this method are presented.
Received: 09 August 2016
Published: 17 October 2016
Fund: The project was supported by the National Key Basic Research Program of China (973)(2013CB632401);National Natural Science Foundation of China(21333006，11374190);Taishan Scholar Program of Shandong Province, China
Fig 1 Three strategies to tune band gap by solid solution method (a) tuning the valance band maximum (VBM); (b) tuning the conduction band minimum (CBM); (c) simultaneously tuning the VBM and CBM. color online
Fig 2 Schematic electronic structures of AgAlO2, AgGaO2 and AgAl1-xGaxO2 solid solutions reproduced from Ref.41 with permission. Copyright 2011,American Chemical Society. color online
Fig 3 Light absorption spectra (a) and band gap (b) of (ZnO)x(GaN)1-x solid solution with the change of Zn concentration TM refers to the sample obtained by using the traditional method. The x values of (ZnO)x(GaN)1-x samples A-E are defined as: x = 0.46 for A, x = 0.66 for B, x = 0.72 for C, x =0.78 for D and x = 0.81 for E.reproduced from Ref.51 with permission. Copyright 2011,Royal Society of Chemistry. color online
Fig 4 Density of state (DOS) of Zn1-xCdxS (x = 0.5) solid solution reproduced from Ref.65 with permission. Copyright 2012,Wiley Online Library. color online
Fig 5 Diffuse reflection spectra of (AgIn)xZn2(1-x)S2 solid solutions for different compositions
Table 1Calculated static dielectric constant and exciton binding energies for Ag2ZnSnS4, Ag2ZnSnSe4, and Ag2ZnSn(S1-xSex)4 solid solutions
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