Photocatalytic activities of graphitic carbon nitride powder for water reduction and oxidation under visible light

Kazuhiko Maeda, Xinchen Wang, Yasushi Nishihara, Daling Lu, Markus Antonietti, Kazunari Domen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

700 Citations (Scopus)


Graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) with a band gap of 2.7 eV is studied as a nonmetallic photocatalyst for H2 or O 2 evolution from water under ultraviolet (UV) and visible light. The g-C3N4 catalyst exhibits activities for water reduction into H2 or water oxidation into O2 in the presence of a proper sacrificial electron donor or acceptor, respectively, even without the need for precious metal cocatalysts. When bis(1,5-cyclooctadiene) platinum complex [Pt(cod)2] (a nonionic complex) is used as a precursor of Pt cocatalyst instead of H2PtCl6 (an ionic complex), enhanced H2 evolution activity is acquired. This difference in activity is primarily due to the better dispersion of Pt nanoparticles on g-C 3N4, which is considered to originate from the better access of Pt(cod)2 to the g-C3N4 surface, as compared to that of H2PtCl6 in the preparation process. Unmodified g-C3N4 produces O2 from an aqueous silver nitrate solution upon UV irradiation (λ > 300 nm), although N2 release due to self-decomposition of g-C3N4 by photogenerated holes takes place. Modification of g-C3N 4 with RuO2 improves not only O2 evolution activity but also stability against the self-decomposition, resulting in stable visible-light-driven O2 evolution (λ > 420 nm).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4940-4947
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Mar 26 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Energy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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