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Review Article | Just Accepted

High-efficiency crystalline carbon nitride photocatalysts: Status and perspectives

Wenji Pu1,§Yunqiao Zhou3,§Lingfeng Yang1Haifeng Gong1Yuhan Li1( )Qingyu Yang2Dieqing Zhang2( )

1 Engineering Research Center for Waste Oil Recovery Technology and Equipment, Ministry of Education, Chongqing Key Laboratory of Catalysis and New Environmental Materials, Chongqing Technology and Business University, Chongqing 400067, China

2 The Education Ministry Key Lab of Resource Chemistry, Joint International Research Laboratory of Resource Chemistry of Ministry of Education, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Rare Earth Functional Materials, and Shanghai Frontiers Science Center of Biomimetic Catalysis, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai 200234, China

3 State Key Laboratory of Tibetan Plateau Earth System, Resources and Environment, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China

§ Wenji Pu, Yunqiao Zho contributed equally to this work.

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Graphical Abstract


Crystallinity and crystal structure greatly influence the photocatalytic behavior of photocatalysts. Pristine g-C3N4 produced by traditional thermal-induced polycondensation reaction bears low crystallinity and thus poor photoactivity, which originates from the incomplete polymerization of the precursor containing amine groups, abundant hydrogen bonds and unreacted amino as well as cyanide functional groups in the skeleton. During photocatalytic process, these residual functional groups often work as electron trap sites, which may hinder the transfer of electrons on the plane, resulting in low photoactivity. Fortunately, crystalline carbon nitride (CCN) was reported as a promising photocatalyst because of its increased crystallinity not only reduces the number of carriers recombination centers, but also increases charge conductivity and improves light utilization due to extended π-conjugated systems and delocalized π-electrons. As such, we summarize the recent studies on CCN-based photocatalysts for the photoactivity enhancement. Firstly, the unique structure and properties of CCN materials are presented. Next, the preparation methods and modification strategies are well outlined. We also sum up the applications of CCN-based materials in the environmental purification and energy fields. Finally, this review concerning CNN materials ends with prospects and challenges in the obtainment of high crystallinity by effective techniques, and the deep understanding of photocatalytic mechanism.

Nano Research
Cite this article:
Pu W, Zhou Y, Yang L, et al. High-efficiency crystalline carbon nitride photocatalysts: Status and perspectives. Nano Research, 2024,








Web of Science






Received: 08 April 2024
Revised: 21 May 2024
Accepted: 10 June 2024
Available online: 11 June 2024

© Tsinghua University Press 2024

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