Structural Band-Gap Tuning in g-C₃N₄


g-C₃N₄ is a promising material for hydrogen production from water via photo-catalysis, if we can tune its band gap to desirable levels. Using a combined experimental and ab initio approach, we uncover an almost perfectly linear relationship between the band gap and structural aspects of g-C₃N₄, which we show to originate in a changing overlap of wave functions associated with the lattice constants. This changing overlap, in turn, causes the unoccupied pz states to experience a significantly larger energy shift than any other occupied state (s, p(x), or p(y)), resulting in this peculiar relationship. Our results explain and demonstrate the possibility to tune the band gap by structural means, and thus the frequency at which g-C₃N₄ absorbs light.


Includes supplementary material.


Band gap, Graphitic carbon nitride, Lattice constants, Tri-s-triazine (s-Heptazine)

US Department of Energy grants (DE-FG02-08ER464, DE-SC0010697).


©2014 The Royal Society of Chemistry. This article may not be further made available or distributed.


Zuluaga, S., L. -H Liu, N. Shafiq, S. M. Rupich, et al. 2015. "Structural band-gap tuning in g-C₃N₄." Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 17(2): 957-962.