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Graphene-Like Carbon Nitride Nanosheets for Improved Photocatalytic Activities

Authors

  • Ping Niu,

    1. Shenyang National Laboratory for Materials Science, Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 72 Wenhua RD, Shenyang 110016, China
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  • Lili Zhang,

    1. Shenyang National Laboratory for Materials Science, Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 72 Wenhua RD, Shenyang 110016, China
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  • Gang Liu,

    Corresponding author
    1. Shenyang National Laboratory for Materials Science, Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 72 Wenhua RD, Shenyang 110016, China
    • Shenyang National Laboratory for Materials Science, Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 72 Wenhua RD, Shenyang 110016, China.
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  • Hui-Ming Cheng

    1. Shenyang National Laboratory for Materials Science, Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 72 Wenhua RD, Shenyang 110016, China
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Abstract

“Graphitic” (g)-C3N4 with a layered structure has the potential of forming graphene-like nanosheets with unusual physicochemical properties due to weak van der Waals forces between layers. Herein is shown that g-C3N4 nanosheets with a thickness of around 2 nm can be easily obtained by a simple top-down strategy, namely, thermal oxidation etching of bulk g-C3N4 in air. Compared to the bulk g-C3N4, the highly anisotropic 2D-nanosheets possess a high specific surface area of 306 m2 g−1, a larger bandgap (by 0.2 eV), improved electron transport ability along the in-plane direction, and increased lifetime of photoexcited charge carriers because of the quantum confinement effect. As a consequence, the photocatalytic activities of g-C3N4 nanosheets have been remarkably improved in terms of •OH radical generation and photocatalytic hydrogen evolution.

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