Protonation of Graphitic Carbon Nitride (g-C3N4) for an Electrostatically Self-Assembling Carbon@g-C3N4Core-Shell Nanostructure toward High Hydrogen Evolution

Longtao Ma, Huiqing Fan, Ke Fu, Shenhui Lei, Qingzhao Hu, Haitao Huang, Geping He

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

193 Citations (Scopus)


The development of new, appealing metal-free photocatalysts is of great significance for photocatalytic hydrogen evolution. Herein, an electrostatic self-assembly method to form a unique core-shell architecture of a colloid of carbon spheres with graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) has been developed by a one-step chemical solution route. The chemical protonation of g-C3N4solids with strong oxidizing acids (such as HNO3) is an efficient pathway toward the sol procedure of stable carbon nitride colloids, which can cover the surface of carbon spheres via electrostatic adsorption. On account of the unique polymeric matrix of g-C3N4and reversible hydrogen bonding, the carbon@g-C3N4derived from the sol solution showed high mechanical stability with broadened light absorption and enhanced conductivity for charge transport. Thus, the carbon@g-C3N4core-shell structure exhibited remarkably enhanced photoelectrochemical performance. This polymer system is envisaged to hybridize with desirable functionalities (such as carbon nanorods) to form unique architectures for various applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7093-7103
Number of pages11
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2017


  • Broadened light absorption
  • Electrostatic self-assembly
  • Hydrogen evolution
  • Metal-free core-shell nanostructure
  • Polymeric carbon nitride

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

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