Constructing ultrathin g-C3N4 nanosheets with hierarchical pores by NaClO induced wet etching for efficient photocatalytic Cr(VI) detoxification under visible light irradiation

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  • Lifeng Cui, University of Shanghai for Science and Technology
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  • Yanfei Liu, University of Shanghai for Science and Technology
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  • Yuting Wang
  • Xueyou Fang, University of Shanghai for Science and Technology
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  • Chaochuang Yin, University of Shanghai for Science and Technology
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  • Shifei Kang, University of Shanghai for Science and Technology
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  • Mingdong Dong

Ultrathin holey graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) nanosheets have caused tremendous concern on highly active photocatalytic elimination of environmental contaminants because of its many interesting physichemical properties. But the photocatalysis ability for the bulk g-C3N4 is always limited by their small specific surface area and the scant number of active sites in the process of photocatalysis. Here, a fast and simple way to prepare ultrathin g-C3N4 nanosheets have rich in-plane pores by sodium hypochlorite etching is reported in water solution at room temperature, whereas the intercalation of Na+ and the synergistic effect of ClO oxidation enable a fast exfoliation of bulk g-C3N4. Comprehensive structural and morphological of these products were analyzed through transmission electron microscopy, atomic force microscope, N2 adsorption-desorption, X-ray diffractometry, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and UV–vis diffuse reflectance spectra, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and electron spin resonance measurements at room temperature. The obtained porous ultrathin g-C3N4 nanosheets by N2 adsorption-desorption tests show significantly increased specific surface area (85.7 m2 g−1). In addition, the results of the obtained ultrathin g-C3N4 nanosheets reveal its remarkable hierarchical pore structures composed of abundant mesopores and small micropores (<20 nm) and UV–vis exhibit narrower band gap (2.59 eV), more new exposed edges and improved electron transport capacity. Compared to the bulk g-C3N4, micro-meso of the hierarchical porous ultrathin g-C3N4 show more than 4 times higher activity when tested under visible-light-driven (VLD) Cr(VI) photodetoxification. This can be owed to the enrichment of active sites and the short distance of matter transfers from carrier to reaction sites. The experiment provides a strategy of the clean and scalable preparation the highly reactive and ultrathin g-C3N4 photocatalysts for energy development and environmental treatment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDiamond and Related Materials
Pages (from-to)51-59
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018

    Research areas

  • Cr(VI) detoxification, g-CN, Holey ultrathin g-CN nanosheets, Visible-light-driven photocatalytic

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