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TiO2-Graphene Quantum Dots Nanocomposites For Photocatalysis In Energy And Biomedical Applications

Anuja Bokare, Sowbaranigha Chinnusamy, Folarin Erogbogbo

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The focus of current research in material science has shifted from “less efficient” single-component nanomaterials to the superior-performance, next-generation, multifunctional nanocomposites. TiO2 is a widely used benchmark photocatalyst with unique physicochemical properties. However, the large bandgap and massive recombination of photogenerated charge carriers limit its overall photocatalytic efficiency. When TiO2 nanoparticles are modified with graphene quantum dots (GQDs), some significant improvements can be achieved in terms of (i) broadening the light absorption wavelengths, (ii) design of active reaction sites, and (iii) control of the electron-hole (e−-h+) recombination. Accordingly, TiO2-GQDs nanocomposites exhibit promising multifunctionalities in a wide range of fields including, but not limited to, energy, biomedical aids, electronics, and flexible wearable sensors. This review presents some important aspects of TiO2-GQDs nanocomposites as photocatalysts in energy and biomedical applications. These include: (1) structural formulations and synthesis methods of TiO2-GQDs nanocomposites; (2) discourse about the mechanism behind the overall higher photoactivities of these nanocomposites; (3) various characterization techniques which can be used to judge the photocatalytic performance of these nanocomposites, and (4) the application of these nanocomposites in biomedical and energy conversion devices. Although some objectives have been achieved, new challenges still exist and hinder the widespread application of these nanocomposites. These challenges are briefly discussed in the Future Scope section of this review.