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Cellulose-Derived Hierarchical g-C3N4/TiO2-Nanotube Heterostructured Composites with Enhanced Visible-Light Photocatalytic Performance

  • Zehao Lin
    Zehao Lin
    Department of Chemistry, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310027, China
    More by Zehao Lin
  • Bo Yu
    Bo Yu
    Department of Chemistry, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310027, China
    More by Bo Yu
  • , and 
  • Jianguo Huang*
    Jianguo Huang
    Department of Chemistry, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310027, China
    *Email: [email protected]
Cite this: Langmuir 2020, 36, 21, 5967–5978
Publication Date (Web):May 6, 2020
Copyright © 2020 American Chemical Society

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    A novel cellulose-derived hierarchical g-C3N4/TiO2-nanotube heterostructured nanocomposite was fabricated by in situ coating thin g-C3N4 layers onto the surfaces of the TiO2 nanotubes, which were synthesized by utilizing the natural cellulose substance (e.g., commercial ordinary filter paper) as the structural template. These g-C3N4/TiO2-nanotube composites with varied thicknesses (ca. 3–30 nm) of the outer g-C3N4 layers displayed improved visible-light (λ > 420 nm)-driven photocatalytic degradation performances toward methylene blue. The optimal nanocomposite with an outer g-C3N4 layer of ca. 7.5 nm composed of 46 wt % g-C3N4 displayed an apparent rate constant of 0.0035 min–1, which was 8.5- and 4-fold larger than those of the referential TiO2-nanotube and g-C3N4 powder. The excellent and durable photocatalytic activities of these cellulose-derived g-C3N4/TiO2-nanotube composites were ascribed to their hierarchically network porous structures replicated from the cellulose template, as well as the formation of close heterojunctions in-between the g-C3N4 and TiO2 phases. Moreover, it was demonstrated that the photocatalytic mechanism matched with the type-II heterostructured model, while the main effective species during the photocatalytic processes of the nanocomposite were proved to be superoxide radicals.

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    • Additional characterizations of the g-C3N4/TiO2-NT nanocomposites, the referential g-C3N4 powder, and TiO2-NT samples; comparison of the photocatalysts; additional electrochemical results; and additional photocatalytic experimental results (PDF)

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