Issue 56, 2020

Graphitic carbon nitride nanotubes: a new material for emerging applications


We provide a critical review of the current state of the synthesis and applications of nano- and micro-tubes of layered graphitic carbon nitride. This emerging material has a huge potential for light-harvesting applications, including light sensing, artificial photosynthesis, selective photocatalysis, hydrogen storage, light-induced motion, membrane technologies, and can become a major competitor for such established materials as carbon and titania dioxide nanotubes. Graphitic carbon nitride tubes (GCNTs) combine visible-light sensitivity, high charge carrier mobility, and exceptional chemical/photochemical stability, imparting this material with unrivaled photocatalytic activities in photosynthetic processes, such as water splitting and carbon dioxide reduction. The unique geometric GCNT structure and versatility of possible chemical modifications allow new photocatalytic applications of GCNTs to be envisaged including selective photocatalysts of multi-electron processes as well as light-induced and light-directed motion of GCNT-based microswimmers. Closely-packed arrays of aligned GCNTs show great promise as multifunctional membrane materials for the light energy conversion and storage, light-driven pumping of liquids, selective adsorption, and electrochemical applications. These emerging applications require synthetic routes to GCNTs with highly controlled morphological parameters and composition to be available. We recognize three major strategies for the GCNT synthesis including templating, supramolecular assembling of precursors, and scrolling of nano-/microsheets, and outline promising routes for further progress of these approaches in the light of the most important emerging applications of GCNTs.

Graphical abstract: Graphitic carbon nitride nanotubes: a new material for emerging applications

Supplementary files

Article information

Article type
Review Article
26 Jun 2020
03 Aug 2020
First published
15 Sep 2020
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

RSC Adv., 2020,10, 34059-34087

Graphitic carbon nitride nanotubes: a new material for emerging applications

O. Stroyuk, O. Raievska and D. R. T. Zahn, RSC Adv., 2020, 10, 34059 DOI: 10.1039/D0RA05580H

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. You can use material from this article in other publications without requesting further permissions from the RSC, provided that the correct acknowledgement is given.

Read more about how to correctly acknowledge RSC content.

Social activity