Graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) has recently emerged as an attractive photocatalyst for solar energy conversion. However, the photocatalytic activities of g-C3N4 remain moderate because of the insufficient solar-light absorption and the fast electron–hole recombination. Here, defect-modified g-C3N4 (DCN) photocatalysts, which are easily prepared under mild conditions and show much extended light absorption with band gaps decreased from 2.75 to 2.00 eV, are reported. More importantly, cyano terminal CN groups, acting as electron acceptors, are introduced into the DCN sheet edge, which endows the DCN with both n- and p-type conductivities, consequently giving rise to the generation of p–n homojunctions. This homojunction structure is demonstrated to be highly efficient in charge transfer and separation, and results in a fivefold enhanced photocatalytic H2 evolution activity. The findings deepen the understanding on the defect-related issues of g-C3N4-based materials. Additionally, the ability to build homojunction structures by the defect-induced self-functionalization presents a promising strategy to realize precise band engineering of g-C3N4 and related polymer semiconductors for more efficient solar energy conversion applications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials