Tailoring the stoichiometry of C3N4 nanosheets under electron beam irradiation

Rafael G. Mendes, Huy Q. Ta, Xiaoqin Yang, Alicja Bachmatiuk, Petr Praus, Aref Mamakhel, Bo B. Iversen, Ren Su, Thomas Gemming*, Mark H. Rümmeli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Two-dimensional polymeric graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) is a low-cost material with versatile properties that can be enhanced by the introduction of dopant atoms and by changing the degree of polymerization/stoichiometry, which offers significant benefits for numerous applications. Herein, we investigate the stability of g-C3N4under electron beam irradiation inside a transmission electron microscope operating at different electron acceleration voltages. Our findings indicate that the degradation of g-C3N4occurs with N species preferentially removed over C species. However, the precise nitrogen group from which N is removed from g-C3N4(C-N-C, NH or -NH2) is unclear. Moreover, the rate of degradation increases with decreasing electron acceleration voltage, suggesting that inelastic scattering events (radiolysis) dominate over elastic events (knock-on damage). The rate of degradation by removing N atoms is also sensitive to the current density. Hence, we demonstrate that both the electron acceleration voltage and the current density are parameters with which one can use to control the stoichiometry. Moreover, as N species were preferentially removed, thed-spacing of the carbon nitride structure increased. These findings provide a deeper understanding of g-C3N4

Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Volume23
Issue8
Pages (from-to)4747-4756
Number of pages10
ISSN1463-9076
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

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