Polymeric carbon nitride (CN) has emerged as an attractive material for photocatalysis and photoelectronic devices. However, the synthesis of porous CNs with controlled structural and optical properties remains a challenge, and processable CN precursors are still highly sought after for fabricating homogenous CN layers strongly bound to a given substrate. Here, we report a general method to synthesize highly dispersed porous CN materials that show excellent photocatalytic activity for the hydrogen evolution reaction and good performance as photoanodes in photoelectrochemical cells (PEC): first, supramolecular assemblies of melem and melamine in ethylene glycol and water are prepared using a hydrothermal process. These precursors are then calcined to yield a water-dispersible CN photocatalyst that exhibits beneficial charge separation under illumination, extended visible-light response attributed to carbon doping, and a large number of free amine groups that act as preferential sites for a Pt cocatalyst. The optimized CN exhibits state-of-the-art HER rates up to 23.1 mmol h−1 g−1, with an AQE of 19.2% at 395 nm. This unique synthetic route enables the formation of a homogeneous precursor paste for substrate casting; consequently, the CN photoanode exhibits a low onset potential, a high photocurrent density and good stability after calcination.
|Number of pages||10|
|State||Published - 26 Jan 2023|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Mechanics of Materials
- Materials Science (all)
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Process Chemistry and Technology