International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol.44, No.14, 7194-7204, 2019
A direct one-step synthesis of ultrathin g-C3N4 nanosheets from thiourea for boosting solar photocatalytic H-2 evolution
Two-dimensional (2D) graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) nanosheets, as the promising photocatalyst with fascinating properties, have become a "rising star" in the field of photocatalysis. Although g-C3N4 nanosheets exfoliated from the bulk g-C3N4 powders are extensively emerged, developing a simple synthetic approach is still full of challenge. To this end, here we report a direct polymerization strategy to fabricate the ultrathin g-C3N4 nanosheets, that is only heating treatment of thiourea in air without addition of any template. The photocatalytic activities of as-prepared samples were evaluated by photoreduction of water to hydrogen (H-2) using triethanolamine as sacrificial agent and Pt as co-catalyst under visible-light irradiation (lambda > 420 nm). As a result, our few-layered g-C3N4 nanosheets with an average thickness of 3.5 nm exhibit a superior visible-light photocatalytic H-2 evolution rate (HER) of 1391 mu mol g(-1) h(-1) and a remarkable apparent quantum efficiency of 6.6% at 420 nm. Eventually, the HER of as-fabricated ultrathin g-C3N4 nanosheets is not only much higher than the dicyandiamide-derived g-C3N4 or melamine-derived g-C3N4, but also greater than the thermal-oxidation etched g-C3N4 nanosheets under the same condition. (C) 2019 Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC.