Green synthesis of ultrathin edge-activated foam-like carbon nitride nanosheets for enhanced photocatalytic performance under visible light irradiation
Fabrication of few-layered polymeric carbon nitride (PCN) photocatalysts have attracted increasing attention owing to their substantial enhancement of the photocatalytic performance. A green strategy for the synthesis of ultrathin PCN nanosheets with integration of high-efficiency and enriched active edges using minimimal chemicals and energy input is overwhelmingly required and is still challenging. Herein, we report a green, cost-effective and template-free synthesis approach for ultrathin foam-like PCN nanosheets with enriched active sites in a wet atmosphere via a “three-in-one” strategy. This strategy relies on coupling of melem segments, polymerization with condensed layers, delamination by water molecules, and introduction of new terminal groups entirely in one-pot without any other additives. The obtained melem-derived PCN (MFCN-wet) shows highly loose and extremely light characteristics with the formation of ultrathin few-layers. Furthermore, it exhibits a high specific surface area and pore volume. Most importantly, the enriched active sites with fast charge carrier transfer drastically enhance the hydrogen evolution rate and rhodamine B (RhB) degradation with a high stability under visible light irradiation, compared with that of the as-synthesized materials in nitrogen and air atmospheres. This sustainable strategy could provide new opportunities for further environmental and energy applications.