Graphitic carbon nitride (gCN) is an important heterogeneous metal-free catalytic material. Thermally induced post-synthetic modifications, such as amorphization and/or reduction, were recently used to enhance the photocatalytic response of these materials for certain classes of organic transformations, with structural defects possibly playing an important role. The knowledge of how these surface modifications modulate the photocatalytic response of gCN is therefore not only interesting from a fundamental point of view, but also necessary for the development and/or tuning of metal-free gCN systems with superior photo-catalytic properties. Herein, employing density functional theory calculations and combining both the periodic and molecular approaches, in conjunction with experimental EPR measurements, we demonstrate that different structural defects on the gCN surface generate distinctive radical defect states localized within the electronic bandgap, with only those correlated with amorphous and reduced gCN structures being photo-active. To this end, we (i) model defective gCN surfaces containing radical defect states; (ii) assess the interactions of these defects with the radical precursors involved in the photo-driven alkylation of electron-rich aromatic compounds (namely perfluoroalkyl iodides); and (iii) describe the photo-chemical processes triggering the initial step of that reaction at the gCN surface. We provide a coherent structure/photo-catalytic property relationship on defective gCN surfaces, elaborating how only specific defect types act as binding sites for the perfluoroalkyl iodide reagent and can favor a photo-induced charge transfer from the gCN surface to the molecule, thus triggering the perfluoroalkylation reaction.

Radical defects modulate the photocatalytic response in 2D-graphitic carbon nitride

Raciti, E;Melchionna, M;Filippini, G;Bevilacqua, M;Fornasiero, P;Prato, M;
2022-01-01

Abstract

Graphitic carbon nitride (gCN) is an important heterogeneous metal-free catalytic material. Thermally induced post-synthetic modifications, such as amorphization and/or reduction, were recently used to enhance the photocatalytic response of these materials for certain classes of organic transformations, with structural defects possibly playing an important role. The knowledge of how these surface modifications modulate the photocatalytic response of gCN is therefore not only interesting from a fundamental point of view, but also necessary for the development and/or tuning of metal-free gCN systems with superior photo-catalytic properties. Herein, employing density functional theory calculations and combining both the periodic and molecular approaches, in conjunction with experimental EPR measurements, we demonstrate that different structural defects on the gCN surface generate distinctive radical defect states localized within the electronic bandgap, with only those correlated with amorphous and reduced gCN structures being photo-active. To this end, we (i) model defective gCN surfaces containing radical defect states; (ii) assess the interactions of these defects with the radical precursors involved in the photo-driven alkylation of electron-rich aromatic compounds (namely perfluoroalkyl iodides); and (iii) describe the photo-chemical processes triggering the initial step of that reaction at the gCN surface. We provide a coherent structure/photo-catalytic property relationship on defective gCN surfaces, elaborating how only specific defect types act as binding sites for the perfluoroalkyl iodide reagent and can favor a photo-induced charge transfer from the gCN surface to the molecule, thus triggering the perfluoroalkylation reaction.
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https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2022/sc/d2sc03964h#!
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3030162
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