Protonated g-C3N4/Ti3+ self-doped TiO2 nanocomposite films: Room-temperature preparation, hydrophilicity, and application for photocatalytic NOx removal

Yu Huang, Pengge Wang, Zhenyu Wang, Yongfang Rao, Jun ji Cao, Shengyan Pu, Wingkei Ho, Shun Cheng Lee

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

83 Citations (Scopus)


Fabrication of photocatalysis films with good adhesion, hydrophilicity, and high activity on substrates at room temperature is essential for their application in air pollution control. Herein, functionalized transparent composite films containing ultrathin protonated g-C3N4 (pCN) nanosheets and Ti3+ self-doped TiO2 nanoparticles (pCN/TiO2) were fabricated on glass at room temperature. Thickness of the films measures 80 nm with surface roughness of 7.16 nm. The adhesion ability was attributed to the viscosity of TiO2 sol, which served as “chemical glue” in the films. The high photo-induced hydrophilicity demonstrated their self-cleaning potential. pCN/TiO2 films showed remarkably high visible-light-driven activity in terms of NO removal in a continuous-flow mode. Photoelectrochemical tests demonstrated the superior charge separation efficiency of pCN/TiO2 films compared with that of pristine TiO2. As identified by electron spin resonance spectra, [rad]O2 and [rad]OH radicals were the key reactive species involved in NO removal. The possible mechanism for photocatalytic NO oxidation was proposed. Potential cytotoxicity of pCN/TiO2 films was evaluated by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay to ensure the biosecurity. This work provides a facile route to fabricate nanocomposite films under ambient temperature. The nanocomposite films were characterized by photo-induced hydrophilicity, high NO removal efficiency, and good biocompatibility, showing its potential in large-scale application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-131
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Catalysis B: Environmental
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


  • Biocompatibility
  • Hydrophilicity
  • NO removal
  • pCN/TiOfilms
  • Room-temperature preparation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology

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