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Issue 8, 2019
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Formation of an ion-free crystalline carbon nitride and its reversible intercalation with ionic species and molecular water

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Abstract

The development of processes to tune the properties of materials is essential for the progression of next-generation technologies for catalysis, optoelectronics and sustainability including energy harvesting and conversion. Layered carbon nitrides have also been identified as of significant interest within these fields of application. However, most carbon nitride materials studied to date have poor crystallinity and therefore their properties cannot be readily controlled or easily related to their molecular level or nanoscale structures. Here we report a process for forming a range of crystalline layered carbon nitrides with polytriazine imide (PTI) structures that can be interconverted by simple ion exchange processes, permitting the tunability of their optoelectronic and chemical properties. Notable outcomes of our work are (a) the creation of a crystalline, guest-ion-free PTI compound that (b) can be re-intercalated with ions or molecules using “soft chemistry” approaches. This includes the intercalation of HCl, demonstrating a new ambient pressure route to the layered PTI·xHCl material that was previously only available by a high-pressure-high-temperature route (c). Our work also shows (d) that the intercalant-free (IF-) PTI material spontaneously absorbs up to 10 weight% H2O from the ambient atmosphere and that this process is reversible, leading to potential applications for membranes and water capture in dry environments.

Graphical abstract: Formation of an ion-free crystalline carbon nitride and its reversible intercalation with ionic species and molecular water

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Publication details

The article was received on 23 Nov 2018, accepted on 20 Dec 2018 and first published on 21 Dec 2018


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C8SC05232H
Citation: Chem. Sci., 2019,10, 2519-2528
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    Formation of an ion-free crystalline carbon nitride and its reversible intercalation with ionic species and molecular water

    Theo M. Suter, T. S. Miller, J. K. Cockcroft, A. E. Aliev, M. C. Wilding, A. Sella, F. Corà, C. A. Howard and P. F. McMillan, Chem. Sci., 2019, 10, 2519
    DOI: 10.1039/C8SC05232H

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