This Perspective is focused on the photocatalytic activity of gold nanoparticles supported on titania (Au/TiO2). Titania is the most widely used photocatalyst, but its limited activity under visible light irradiation has motivated the quest for modified titania materials absorbing visible light. The review starts by justifying how doping with metallic elements is a related strategy, but different, to that leading to the use of Au/TiO2 in photocatalysis. Data supporting and confirming the photoactivity of gold nanoparticles in colloidal solutions are briefly presented to justify the possibility of gold photosensitization of titania by electron injection into the conduction band. After describing the most common procedures used to prepare Au/TiO2, the central part of this article is focused on the photocatalytic activity reported for Au/TiO2 for hydrogen generation, dye decoloration, phenol decomposition and carboxylic acid degradation, among other processes. Emphasis is given to the role that parameters like Au loading, particle size, surface area, spatial structuring and others play on the photocatalytic activity. One important issue has been to distinguish those reports using visible light from those other in which direct titania excitation by UV light has been used. These Au/TiO2 photocatalysts can find real applications in the near future for environmental remediation and for hydrogen generation.
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