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Keywords:

  • carbon nitrides;
  • Friedel–Crafts acylation;
  • mesoporous materials;
  • metal-free catalysis
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

In the footsteps of Liebig and Berzelius: A material first synthesized in 1834, carbon nitride (C3N4), was synthesized in a graphitic mesoporous form by using silica nanoparticles as templates. The resulting electron-rich solid is an active catalyst for the Friedel–Crafts acylation of benzene with hexanoyl chloride. Presumably the catalysis arises from a shift of electron density from the MOs of the catalyst to the unoccupied orbitals of benzene (see picture).