SiO2/carbon nitride composite materials: The role of surfaces for enhanced photocatalysis

Menny Shalom, Sahika Inal, Dieter Neher, Markus Antonietti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


The effect of SiO2 nanoparticles on carbon nitride (C 3N4) photoactivity performance is described. The composite SiO2-C3N4 materials exhibit a higher activity in the photo degradation of RhB dye. A detailed analysis of the chemical and optical properties of the composite C3N4 materials shows that the photo activity increases with higher SiO2 concentration. We found out that the presence of SiO2 nanoparticles strongly affects the fluorescence intensity of the matrix and life time by the creation of new energy states for charge transfer within the C3N4. Furthermore, the use of SiO2 in the synthesis of C3N 4 leads to new morphology with higher surface area which results in another, secondary improvement of C3N4 photoactivity. The effect of different surfaces within C3N4 on its chemical and electronic properties is discussed and a tentative mechanism is proposed. The utilization of SiO2 nanoparticles improves both photophysical and chemical properties of C3N4 and opens new possibilities for further enhancement of C3N4 catalytic properties by the formation of composites with many other materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-190
Number of pages6
JournalCatalysis Today
StatePublished - 15 Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Carbon nitride
  • Photocatalysis
  • RhB degradation
  • SiO composite material

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry


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