Nanochemistry provides powerful synthetic tools allowing one to combine different materials on a single nanostructure, thus unfolding numerous possibilities to tailor their properties toward diverse functionalities. Herein, we review the progress in the field of semiconductor-metal hybrid nanoparticles (HNPs) focusing on metal-chalcogenides-metal combined systems. The fundamental principles of their synthesis are discussed, leading to a myriad of possible hybrid architectures including Janus zero-dimensional quantum dot-based systems and anisotropic quasi 1D nanorods and quasi-2D platelets. The properties of HNPs are described with particular focus on emergent synergetic characteristics. Of these, the light-induced charge-separation effect across the semiconductor-metal nanojunction is of particular interest as a basis for the utilization of HNPs in photocatalytic applications. The extensive studies on the charge-separation behavior and its dependence on the HNPs structural characteristics, environmental and chemical conditions, and light excitation regime are surveyed. Combining the advanced synthetic control with the charge-separation effect has led to demonstration of various applications of HNPs in different fields. A particular promise lies in their functionality as photocatalysts for a variety of uses, including solar-to-fuel conversion, as a new type of photoinitiator for photopolymerization and 3D printing, and in novel chemical and biomedical uses.
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© 2023 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society.