Red Phosphorus: An Up-and-Coming Photocatalyst on the Horizon for Sustainable Energy Development and Environmental Remediation

Cheng May Fung, Chen Chen Er, Lling Lling Tan, Abdul Rahman Mohamed, Siang Piao Chai

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


Photocatalysis is a perennial solution that promises to resolve deep-rooted challenges related to environmental pollution and energy deficit through harvesting the inexhaustible and renewable solar energy. To date, a cornucopia of photocatalytic materials has been investigated with the research wave presently steered by the development of novel, affordable, and effective metal-free semiconductors with fascinating physicochemical and semiconducting characteristics. Coincidentally, the recently emerged red phosphorus (RP) semiconductor finds itself fitting perfectly into this category ascribed to its earth abundant, low-cost, and metal-free nature. More notably, the renowned red allotrope of the phosphorus family is spectacularly bestowed with strengthened optical absorption features, propitious electronic band configuration, and ease of functionalization and modification as well as high stability. Comprehensively detailing RP's roles and implications in photocatalysis, this review article will first include information on different RP allotropes and their chemical structures, followed by the meticulous scrutiny of their physicochemical and semiconducting properties such as electronic band structure, optical absorption features, and charge carrier dynamics. Besides that, state-of-the-art synthesis strategies for developing various RP allotropes and RP-based photocatalytic systems will also be outlined. In addition, modification or functionalization of RP with other semiconductors for promoting effective photocatalytic applications will be discussed to assess its versatility and feasibility as a high-performing photocatalytic system. Lastly, the challenges facing RP photocatalysts and future research directions will be included to propel the feasible development of RP-based systems with considerably augmented photocatalytic efficiency. This review article aspires to facilitate the rational development of multifunctional RP-based photocatalytic systems by widening the cognizance of rational engineering as well as to fine-tune the electronic, optical, and charge carrier properties of RP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3879-3965
Number of pages87
JournalChemical Reviews
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2022

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