Abstract: Heat treatment is an extremely vital and commonly used control method in the process of preparing nanomaterials. For example, the tensile strength and electroconductivity of carbon nanotubes can be enhanced by high-temperature heat treatment. In addition, the adjustment of the optical absorption band edge and specific area of the metal sulfide can be achieved by heat treatment as well. The morphology, optical absorption band edge, particle size, active sites and thermal stability of the photocatalysts are all crucial factors affecting the photoactivity, which can be regulated via heat treatment. Therefore, heat treatment becomes fatal in the process of preparing photocatalysts. However, due to the simple operation of the heat treatment process, the researchers initially utilized it only to refine the grains and increase the crystallinity of the photocatalyst, but pay less attention on its regulation function. Yet, an excessively high heat treatment temperature causes the sintering and growth of photocatalysts, while an excessively low temperature has no effect on refining the crystal grains. Hence, searching a appropriate temperature becomes the initial research focus for heat treatment regulation. Recent research indicated that the heat treatment of photocatalysts can not only refine their grain, make their particle uniform distribution and doping elements uniform diffusion, but also regulate their morphology, phase transformation behavior, oxygen vacancy and the number of active sites, thereby promoting the photocatalytic performance of photocatalysts. Therefore, the research focus is gradually expanded to heat treatment atmosphere and the phase transformation inhibition mechanism for element doping. At present, the research on the control of heat treatment temperature mainly concentrated on regulating pore structure, membrane structure and core-shell structure, as well as the influence of heterojunction phase transition of photocatalyst on different calcination temperatures. The research of sintering atmosphere mainly concentrated on the regulation of photocatalyst vacancy oxygen and active sites under inert atmosphere and redox atmosphere. For the heat treatment regulation of doping elements, it mainly focuses on the phase transformation inhibition of doping elements in the heat treatment process and the regulation of element diffusion. Though the research on the regulation of photocatalyst by heat treatment has achieved fruitful results, yet the research on the regulation of photoactivity has not been fully paid attention to. Consequently, this article expounds catalysts’ morphology, phase transition behavior under the influence of the temperature, and analyzes the effect of catalysts’ oxygen vacancies and active sites under the inert atmosphere, oxidation and reducing atmosphere, as well as the impact of the element’s doping and regulation by heat treatment on catalysts’ thermal stability and photoactivity, which is expected to provide a reference for in-depth study. The analyses deem that heat treatment is an important way to regulate and control the photoactivity. Accurate short-flow low-temperature control methods, multiple regulation factors and the promoting mechanism of heating self-transformation heterojunction should become the hot spot.
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