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Protonation and microwave-assisted heating induced excitation of lone-pair electrons in graphitic carbon nitride for increased photocatalytic hydrogen generation

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Abstract

Graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) with pronounced excitation of lone pairs benefits from extended visible light absorption, which thus enhances its photocatalytic hydrogen (H2) generation activity. However, achieving such lone pair excitation in g-C3N4 remains a grand challenge. Here we report on the synthesis of g-C3N4 with remarkable lone pair excitation through thermolysis of protonated melamine via a facile microwave-assisted heating. The g-C3N4 photocatalyst after optimizing the proton concentration offers a highest H2 generation rate of 21.4 μmol h−1, which is nearly 7 times higher than that of g-C3N4 created from unprotonated melamine under identical conditions (3.2 μmol h−1). Furthermore, active H2 generation at 490 nm light irradiation (2.3 μmol h−1) is realized owing to the lone pair excitation. This work shows the great potential of protonation combined with microwave-assisted heating for activating the lone pair excitation in g-C3N4 for increased photocatalytic performance.

Graphical abstract: Protonation and microwave-assisted heating induced excitation of lone-pair electrons in graphitic carbon nitride for increased photocatalytic hydrogen generation

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Publication details

The article was received on 16 May 2019, accepted on 10 Jul 2019 and first published on 23 Jul 2019


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C9TA05135J
J. Mater. Chem. A, 2019, Advance Article

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    Protonation and microwave-assisted heating induced excitation of lone-pair electrons in graphitic carbon nitride for increased photocatalytic hydrogen generation

    D. Wu, S. Hu, H. Xue, X. Hou, H. Du, G. Xu and Y. Yuan, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2019, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9TA05135J

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