Enhancing the photocatalytic activity of bulk g-C₃N₄ by introducing mesoporous structure and hybridizing with graphene

Yuhan LI, Yanjuan SUN, Fan DONG, Wing Kei HO

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Abstract

Bulk graphitic carbon nitride (CN) suffers from small surface area and high recombination of charge carriers, which result in low photocatalytic activity. To enhance the activity of g- C₃N₄, the surface area should be enlarged and charge carrier separation should be promoted. In this work, a combined strategy was employed to dramatically enhance the activity of bulk g- C₃N₄ by simultaneously introducing mesoporous structure and hybridizing with graphene/graphene oxide. The mesoporous g- C₃N₄/graphene (MCN-G) and mesoporous g- C₃N₄/graphene oxide (MCN-GO) nanocomposites with enhanced photocatalytic activity (NO removal ratio of 64.9% and 60.7%) were fabricated via a facile sonochemical method. The visible light-harvesting ability of MCN-G and MCN-GO hybrids was enhanced and the conduction band was negatively shifted when 1.0 wt% graphene/graphene oxide was incorporated into the matrix of MCN. As electronic conductive channels, the G/GO sheets could efficiently facilitate the separation of chare carriers. MCN-G and MCN-GO exhibited drastically enhanced visible light photocatalytic activity toward NO removal. The NO removal ratio increased from 16.8% for CN to 64.9% for MCN-G and 60.7% for MCN-GO. This enhanced photocatalytic activity could be attributed to the increased surface area and pore volume, improved visible light utilization, enhanced reduction power of electrons, and promoted separation of charge carriers. This work demonstrates that a combined strategy is extremely effective for the development of active photocatalysts in environmental and energetic applications. Copyright © 2014 Published by Elsevier Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-36
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Volume15
Issue number436
Early online dateSep 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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Graphite
Carbon nitride
Graphene
Oxides
Charge carriers
cyanogen
Photocatalysts
Conduction bands
Nanocomposites

Bibliographical note

Li, Y., Sun, Y., Dong, F., & Ho, W.-K. (2014). Enhancing the photocatalytic activity of bulk g-C₃N₄ by introducing mesoporous structure and hybridizing with graphene. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 15(436), 29-36.

Keywords

  • Mesoporous g- C₃N₄/graphene oxide
  • Visible light photocatalytic
  • Activity enhancement
  • Mesoporous g- C₃N₄/graphene
  • No removal