• energy conversion;
  • facets;
  • environmental chemistry;
  • photocatalysis;
  • titanium dioxide


Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is one of the most widely investigated metal oxides because of its extraordinary surface, electronic, and photocatalytic properties. However, the large band gap of TiO2 and the considerable recombination of photogenerated electron–hole pairs limit its photocatalytic efficiency. Therefore, research attention is being increasingly directed towards engineering the surface structure of TiO2 on the atomic level (namely morphological control of {001} facets on the micro- and nanoscale) to fine-tune its physicochemical properties; this could ultimately lead to the optimization of selectivity and reactivity. This Review encompasses the fundamental principles to enhance the photocatalytic activity by using highly reactive {001}-faceted TiO2-based composites. The current progress of such composites, with particular emphasis on the photodegradation of pollutants and photocatalytic water splitting for hydrogen generation, is also discussed. The progresses made are thoroughly examined for achieving remarkable photocatalytic performances, with additional insights with regard to charge transfer. Finally, a summary and some perspectives on the challenges and new research directions for future exploitation in this emerging frontier are provided, which hopefully would allow for harnessing the outstanding structural and electronic properties of {001} facets for various energy- and environmental-related applications.