Metal-free photoanodes for C-H functionalization.
Zhang J., Zhu Y., Njel C., Liu Y., Dallabernardina P., Stevens MM., Seeberger PH., Savateev O., Loeffler FF.
Organic semiconductors, such as carbon nitride, when employed as powders, show attractive photocatalytic properties, but their photoelectrochemical performance suffers from low charge transport capability, charge carrier recombination, and self-oxidation. High film-substrate affinity and well-designed heterojunction structures may address these issues, achieved through advanced film generation techniques. Here, we introduce a spin coating pretreatment of a conductive substrate with a multipurpose polymer and a supramolecular precursor, followed by chemical vapor deposition for the synthesis of dual-layer carbon nitride photoelectrodes. These photoelectrodes are composed of a porous microtubular top layer and an interlayer between the porous film and the conductive substrate. The polymer improves the polymerization degree of carbon nitride and introduces C-C bonds to increase its electrical conductivity. These carbon nitride photoelectrodes exhibit state-of-the-art photoelectrochemical performance and achieve high yield in C-H functionalization. This carbon nitride photoelectrode synthesis strategy may be readily adapted to other reported processes to optimize their performance.