Kang, He, Chen, Wang, Sun, Dang, Chang, Dong, Liu, Cui (2019) Polymeric structure optimization of g-C3N4 by using confined argon-assisted highly-ionized ammonia plasma for improved photocatalytic activity Journal of colloid and interface science 556() 214-223


The optimization of the polymeric structure and the modulation of surface amino groups in graphitic carbon nitride (g-CN) are critical but challenging in improving the photoelectric and photocatalytic performances of this polymer semiconductor. Ammonia plasma treatment may provide a fast and useful approach to optimize g-CN materials yet is seriously restricted by the low ionization ability of ammonia. Herein, a confined fast and environmental-friendly ammonia plasma method based on argon-assisted high ionization of NH3 was developed for efficient modification of raw g-CN. Compared with the weakly-ionized pure ammonia plasma which can only introduce amino group onto the surface g-CN, the argon-assisted highly-ionized ammonia plasma treatment obviously contributes to the comprehensively polymeric structure optimization of g-CN, and thus plays a key role in enhancing its light-harvesting and decelerating the recombination of the photogenerated charge carriers. As a result, the argon-assisted highly-ionized ammonia plasma-treated g-CN-Ar+NH3 outperformed the raw g-CN by a 2.5-fold higher photocatalytic reduction of hexavalent chromium and a remarkable 3.8-fold higher photocatalytic H2 evolution activity (up to 957.8 μmol·h-1·g-1) under visible light irradiation. Our findings suggest the great prospects of this novel highly-ionized ammonia plasma treatment method in the controllable modification of semiconductors and polymers. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.