Biopolymer-activated graphitic carbon nitride towards a sustainable photocathode material

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Yuanjian Zhang
  • Junyu Cao
  • Shuxin Ouyang
  • Ying Li
  • Jinhua Ye
  • Songqin Liu

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing 211189, China.


Photoelectrochemical (PEC) conversion of solar light into chemical fuels is one of the most promising solutions to the challenge of sustainable energy. Graphitic carbon (IV) nitride polymer (g-CN) is an interesting sustainable photocathode material due to low-cost, visible-light sensitivity, and chemical stability up to 500 °C in air. However, grain boundary effects and limited active sites greatly hamper g-CN activity. Here, we demonstrate biopolymer-activation of g-CN through simultaneous soft-templating of a sponge-like structure and incorporation of active carbon-dopant sites. This facile approach results in an almost 300% increase in the cathodic PEC activity of g-CN under simulated solar-irradiation.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2163
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • Biopolymers, Electrodes, Graphite, Microscopy, Electron, Scanning, Nitriles, Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared, X-Ray Diffraction