Ultrasound energy has been successfully employed to synthesize CdSe/TiO2 nanocatalysts for the photocatalytic degradation of phenol under solar light irradiation. The photocatalytic performance test was carried out using TiO2 as well as synthesized CdSe/TiO2 nanocatalysts. Nanocatalyst characterization was accomplished using XRD, SEM, FTIR, BET and UV–vis spectroscopy. It was shown that the synthesized nanocatalysts have crystal characteristics and are in nano-scale size range. The coupled nanocatalyst has shown a shift in the absorption spectrum from the UV range to the visible range. The results of photocatalytic tests showed that the CdSe/TiO2 coupled nanocatalyst could remove phenol from wastewater under solar light irradiation, while TiO2 did not have enough activity in this process. It is also shown that the CdSe nanoparticles act as photosensitizers, not only extending the spectral response of TiO2 to the visible region but also reducing the electron–hole recombination. Furthermore, the CdSe/TiO2 synthesized samples provided more photomineralization efficiency than that of TiO2 in terms of total organic carbon analysis.
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