Graphitic carbon nitride

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Comparison of bulk g-C3N4 (left) and nanosheet g-C3N4 powders, 100 mg each.[1]

Graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) is a family of carbon nitride compounds with a general formula near to C3N4 and structures based on heptazine units which, depending on reaction conditions, exhibit different degrees of condensation, properties and reactivities.


Graphitic carbon nitride can be made by polymerization of cyanamide, dicyandiamide or melamine. The firstly formed polymeric C3N4 structure, melon, with pendant amino groups, is a highly ordered polymer. Further reaction leads to more condensed and less defective C3N4 species, based on tri-s-triazine (C6N7) units as elementary building blocks.[2]

Graphitic carbon nitride can also be prepared by electrodeposition on Si(100) substrate from a saturated acetone solution of cyanuric trichloride and melamine (ratio =1: 1.5) at room temperature.[3]

Well-crystallized graphitic carbon nitride nanocrystallites also can be have prepared via benzene-thermal reaction between C3N3Cl3 and NaNH2 at 180–220 °C for 8–12 h.[4]

Recently, a new method of syntheses of graphitic carbon nitrides by heating at 400-600 °C of a mixture of melamine and uric acid in the presence of alumina has been reported. Alumina favored the deposition of the graphitic carbon nitrides layers on the exposed surface. This method can be assimilated to an in situ chemical vapor deposition (CVD).[5]


Characterisation of crystalline g-C3N4 can be carried out by identifying the triazine ring existing in the products by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) measurements, photoluminescence spectra and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) spectrum (peaks at 800 cm−1, 1310 cm−1 and 1610 cm−1).[4]


Due to the special semiconductor properties of carbon nitrides, they show unexpected catalytic activity for a variety of reactions, such as for the activation of benzene, trimerization reactions, and also the activation of carbon dioxide (artificial photosynthesis).[2]


A commercial graphitic carbon nitride is available under the brand name Nicanite. In its micron-sized graphitic form, it can be used for tribological coatings, biocompatible medical coatings, chemically inert coatings, insulators and for energy-storage solutions.[6] Graphitc carbon nitride is reported as one of the best hydrogen storage materials.[7][8] It can also be used as a support for catalytic nanoparticles.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Chen, Xiufang; Zhang, Ligang; Zhang, Bo; Guo, Xingcui; Mu, Xindong (2016). "Highly selective hydrogenation of furfural to furfuryl alcohol over Pt nanoparticles supported on g-C3N4 nanosheets catalysts in water". Scientific Reports. 6: 28558. Bibcode:2016NatSR...628558C. PMC 4916514Freely accessible. PMID 27328834. doi:10.1038/srep28558. 
  2. ^ a b Thomas, A.; Fischer, A.; Goettmann, F.; Antonietti, M.; Müller, J.-O.; Schlögl, R.; Carlsson, J. M. (2008). "Graphitic Carbon Nitride Materials: Variation of Structure and Morphology and their Use as Metal-Free Catalysts". Journal of Materials Chemistry. 18 (41): 4893–4908. doi:10.1039/b800274f. 
  3. ^ Li, C.; Cao, C.; Zhu H. (2003). "Preparation of Graphitic Carbon Nitride by Electrodeposition". Chinese Science Bulletin. 48 (16): 1737–1740. doi:10.1360/03wb0011. 
  4. ^ a b Guo, Q. X.; Xie, Y.; Wang, X. J.; Lv, S. C.; Hou, T.; Liu, X. M. (2003). "Characterization of Well-Crystallized Graphitic Carbon Nitride Nanocrystallites via a Benzene-Thermal Route at Low Temperatures". Chemical Physics Letters. 380 (1–2): 84–87. Bibcode:2003CPL...380...84G. doi:10.1016/j.cplett.2003.09.009. 
  5. ^ Dante, R. C.; Martín-Ramos, P.; Correa-Guimaraes, A.; Martín-Gil, J. (2011). "Synthesis of Graphitic Carbon Nitride by Reaction of Melamine and Uric Acid". Materials Chemistry and Physics. 130 (3): 1094–1102. doi:10.1016/j.matchemphys.2011.08.041. 
  6. ^ "Nicanite, Graphitic Carbon Nitride". Carbodeon. 
  7. ^ Nair, Asalatha A. S.; Sundara, Ramaprabhu; Anitha, N. (2015-03-02). "Hydrogen storage performance of palladium nanoparticles decorated graphitic carbon nitride". International Journal of Hydrogen Energy. 40 (8): 3259–3267. doi:10.1016/j.ijhydene.2014.12.065. 
  8. ^ Nair, Asalatha A. S.; Sundara, Ramaprabhu (2016-05-12). "Palladium Cobalt Alloy Catalyst Nanoparticles Facilitated Enhanced Hydrogen Storage Performance of Graphitic Carbon Nitride". The Journal of Physical Chemistry C. 120 (18): 9612–9618. doi:10.1021/acs.jpcc.6b01850.