Acta Physico-Chimica Sinica ›› 2020, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (3): 1902001.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB201902001

Special Issue: Photocatalyst

• Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Cu2+ Modified g-C3N4 Photocatalysts for Visible Light Photocatalytic Properties

Xiaowei Li,Bin Wang,Wenxuan Yin,Jun Di,Jiexiang Xia*(),Wenshuai Zhu*(),Huaming Li   

  • Received:2019-02-01 Accepted:2019-05-13 Published:2019-05-17
  • Contact: Jiexiang Xia,Wenshuai Zhu;
  • Supported by:
    the National Natural Science Foundation of China(21722604);the National Natural Science Foundation of China(21576122);Chinese Postdoctoral Science Foundation(2017M611726);Postgraduate Research & Practice Innovation Program of Jiangsu Province, China(SJKY19_2573)


Photocatalytic technology can effectively solve the problem of increasingly serious water pollution, the core of which is the design and synthesis of highly efficient photocatalytic materials. Semiconductor photocatalysts are currently the most widely used photocatalysts. Among these is graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4), which has great potential in environment management and the development of new energy owing to its low cost, easy availability, unique band structure, and good thermal stability. However, the photocatalytic activity of g-C3N4 remains low because of problems such as wide bandgap, weakly absorb visible light, and the high recombination rate of photogenerated carriers. Among various modification strategies, doping modification is an effective and simple method used to improve the photocatalytic performance of materials. In this work, Cu/g-C3N4 photocatalysts were successfully prepared by incorporating Cu2+ into g-C3N4 to further optimize photocatalytic performance. At the same time, the structure, morphology, and optical and photoelectric properties of Cu/g-C3N4 photocatalysts were analyzed by X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), scanning electron microscopy, UV-Vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS), and photoelectric tests. XRD and XPS were used to ensure that the prepared photocatalysts were Cu/g-C3N4 and the valence state of Cu was in the form of Cu2+. Under visible light irradiation, the photocatalytic activity of Cu/g-C3N4 and pure g-C3N4 photocatalysts were investigated in terms of the degradation of RhB and CIP by comparing the amount of introduced copper ions. The experimental results showed that the degradation ability of Cu/g-C3N4 photocatalysts was stronger than that of pure g-C3N4. The N2 adsorption-desorption isotherms of g-C3N4 and Cu/g-C3N4 demonstrated that the introduction of copper had little effect on the microstructure of g-C3N4. The small difference in specific surface area indicates that the enhanced photocatalytic activity may be attributed to the effective separation of photogenerated carriers. Therefore, the enhanced photocatalytic degradation of RhB and CIP over Cu/g-C3N4 may be due to the reduction of carrier recombination rate by copper. The photoelectric test showed that the incorporation of Cu2+ into g-C3N4 could reduce the electron-hole recombination rate of g-C3N4 and accelerate the separation of electron-hole pairs, thus enhancing the photocatalytic activity of Cu/g-C3N4. Free radical trapping experiments and electron spin resonance indicated that the synergistic effect of superoxide radicals (O2•−), hydroxyl radicals (•OH) and holes could increase the photocatalytic activity of Cu/g-C3N4 materials.

Key words: Cu/g-C3N4, Photocatalytic, Visible light, Active species, RhB, CIP