Selective photocatalytic N2 fixation dependent on g-C3N4 induced by nitrogen vacancies†
Photoreduction of N2 is among the most interesting and challenging methods for N2 fixation under mild conditions. In this study, we determined that nitrogen vacancies (NVs) could endow graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) with the photocatalytic N2 fixation ability. Photocatalytic N2 fixation induced by NVs is free from the interference of other gases. The reason is that NVs could selectively adsorb and activate N2 because NVs have the same shape and size as the nitrogen atom in N2. In addition to this, NVs could also improve many other properties of g-C3N4 to support photocatalytic N2 fixation. These new findings could elucidate the design of efficient photocatalysts for photocatalytic N2 fixation.