Abstract: In recent years, two-dimensional (2D) semiconductor photocatalysts have been widely applied in water splitting, CO2 reduction, N2 fixation, as well as many other important photoreactions. Photocatalysts in the form of 2D nanosheet possess many inherent advantages over traditional 3D nanopowder photocatalysts, including improved light absorption characteristics, shorter electron and hole migration paths to the photocatalysts’ surface (thus minimizing undesirable electron-hole pair recombination), and abundant surface defects which allow band gap modulation and facilitate charge transfer from the semiconductor to adsorbates. When synergistically exploited and optimized, these advantages can impart 2D photocatalysts with remarkable activities relative to their 3D counterparts. Accordingly, a wide range of experimental approaches is now being explored for the synthesis of 2D photocatalysts, with computational methods increasingly being used for identification of promising new 2D photocatalytic materials. Herein, we critically review recent literatures related to 2D photocatalyst development and design. Particular emphasis is placed on 2D photocatalyst synthesis and the importance of computational studies for the fundamental understanding of 2D photocatalyst electronic structure, band gap structure, charge carrier mobility and reaction pathways. We also explore the practical challenges of using 2D photocatalysts, such as their difficulty to synthesize in large quantity and also their characterization. The overarching aim of this review is to provide a snapshot of recent work targeting high-performance 2D photocatalysts for efficient solar energy conversion, thus laying a firm base for future advancements in this rapidly expanding area of photocatalysis research.

Two-dimensional photocatalyst design: A critical review of recent experimental and computational advances
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DOI: 10.1016/j.mattod.2019.10.022