Engineering the nanoarchitecture and texture of polymeric carbon nitride semiconductor for enhanced visible light photocatalytic activity

Fan DONG, Zhenyu WANG, Yanjuan SUN, Wing Kei HO, Haidong ZHANG

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158 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In order to develop g-C3N4 for better visible light photocatalysis, g-C3N4 nanoarchitectures was synthesized by direct pyrolysis of cheap urea at 550 °C and engineered through the variation of pyrolysis time. By prolonging the pyrolysis time, the crystallinity of the resulted sample was enhanced, the thickness and size of the layers were reduced, the surface area and pore volume were significantly enlarged, and the band structure was modified. Especially for urea treated for 4 h, the obtained g-C3N4 nanosheets possessed high surface area (288 m2/g) due to the reduced layer thickness and the improved porous structure. A layer exfoliation and splitting mechanism was proposed to explain the gradual reduction of layer thickness and size of g-C3N4 nanoarchitectures with increased pyrolysis time. The as-synthesized g-C3N4 samples were applied for photocatalytic removal of gaseous NO and aqueous RhB under visible light irradiation. It was found that the activity of g-C3N4 was gradually improved as the pyrolysis time was prolonged from 0 min to 240 min. The enhanced crystallinity, reduced layer thickness, high surface area, large pore volume, enlarged band gap, and reduced number of defects were responsible for the activity enhancement of g-C3N4 sample treated for a longer time. As the precursor urea is very cheap and the synthesis method is facile template-free, the as-synthesized g-C3N4 nanoscale sheets could provide an efficient visible light driven photocatalyst for large-scale applications. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-79
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Volume401
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013

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Carbon nitride
Pyrolysis
Textures
Semiconductor materials
Urea
Photocatalysis
Nanosheets
Photocatalysts
Band structure
Energy gap
cyanogen
Irradiation
Defects

Citation

Dong, F., Wang, Z. Y., Sun, Y. J., Ho, W.-K., & Zhang, H. D. (2013). Engineering the nanoarchitecture and texture of polymeric carbon nitride semiconductor for enhanced visible light photocatalytic activity. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 401, 70-79.

Keywords

  • Texture
  • Visible light photocatalysis
  • Nitric oxide and RhB
  • Carbon nitride
  • Pyrolysis of urea
  • Nanoarchitecture engineering