Boron and Sodium Doping of Polymeric Carbon Nitride Photoanodes for Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting

Tirza Shmila, Sanjit Mondal, Shmuel Barzilai, Neeta Karjule, Michael Volokh, Menny Shalom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Polymeric carbon nitride is a promising photoanode material for water-splitting and organic transformation-based photochemical cells. Despite achieving significant progress in performance, these materials still exhibit low photoactivity compared to inorganic photoanodic materials because of a moderate visible light response, poor charge separation, and slow oxidation kinetics. Here, the synthesis of a sodium- and boron-doped carbon nitride layer with excellent activity as a photoanode in a water-splitting photoelectrochemical cell is reported. The new synthesis consists of the direct growth of carbon nitride (CN) monomers from a hot precursor solution, enabling control over the monomer-to-dopant ratio, thus determining the final CN properties. The introduction of Na and B as dopants results in a dense CN layer with a packed morphology, better charge separation thanks to the in situ formation of an electron density gradient, and an extended visible light response up to 550 nm. The optimized photoanode exhibits state-of-the-art performance: photocurrent densities with and without a hole scavenger of about 1.5 and 0.9 mA cm−2 at 1.23 V versus reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE), and maximal external quantum efficiencies of 56% and 24%, respectively, alongside an onset potential of 0.3 V.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2303602
Issue number42
StatePublished - 18 Oct 2023


  • carbon nitride
  • elemental doping
  • photoanodes
  • photoelectrochemical cells
  • water splitting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • General Chemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • General Materials Science
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


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