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Mesoporous carbon nitride-silica composites by a combined sol-gel/thermal condensation approach and their application as photocatalysts

Kailasam, Kamalakannan; Epping, Jan Dirk; Thomas, Arne; Losse, Sebastian; Junge, Henrik

Mesoporous carbon nitrides, silicas and their composites have been prepared by a combined sol–gel and thermal condensation approach. Precursors for the carbon nitride (cyanamide) and silica (TEOS) are mixed and condensed simultaneously. After condensation and heat treatment it is observed that the carbon nitride and silica formed highly interpenetrating mesophases which leads either to the formation of mesoporous carbon nitride or silica after selective removal of one of the phases. Importantly, the carbon nitride preserves its graphitic stacking even in the spatial confinement introduced by the surrounding silica phase. As both precursors are liquids this approach allows convenient shaping into thin and thick films or monoliths of mesoporous carbon nitrides. Enhanced photocatalytic activity is observed for the production of hydrogen from water when these mesoporous carbon nitrides are applied as photocatalyst in comparison to the bulk, but also to other mesoporous carbon nitrides, prepared by the reported two-step, hard templating approach.
Published in: Energy & environmental science, 10.1039/c1ee02165f, Royal Society of Chemistry
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