Unique layer-doping-induced regulation of charge behavior in metal-free carbon nitride photoanodes for enhanced performance

Peng Luan, Qingqiang Meng, Jing Wu, Qinye Li, Xiaolong Zhang, Ying Zhang, Luke A. O'Dell, Sonia R. Raga, Jennifer Pringle, James C. Griffith, Chenghua Sun, Udo Bach, Jie Zhang

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14 Citations (Scopus)


Photoinduced charge carrier behavior is critical in determining photoelectrocatalytic activity. In this study, a unique layer-doped metal-free polymeric carbon nitride (C3N4) photoanode is fabricated by using one-pot thermal vapor deposition. With this method, a photoanode consisting of a phosphorus-doped top layer, boron-doped middle layer, and pristine C3N4 bottom layer, was formed as a result of the difference in thermal polymerization kinetics associated with the boron-containing H3BO3–melamine complex and the phosphorus-containing H3PO4–dicyandiamide complex. This layer-doping fabrication strategy effectively contributes to the formation of dual junctions that optimizing charge carrier behavior. The ternary-layer C3N4 photoanode exhibits significantly enhanced photoelectrochemical water oxidation activity compared to pristine C3N4, with a record photocurrent density of 150±10 μA cm−2 at 1.23 V vs. RHE. This layer-doping strategy provides an effective means for design and fabrication of photoelectrodes for solar water oxidation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)328-333
Number of pages6
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2019


  • carbon nitride
  • charge behavior
  • doping
  • photoelectrochemistry
  • water splitting

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