Catalysis Science & Engineering, Invited / Award Lecture

A journey into organic synthesis by modified carbon nitride photocatalysts

P. Fornasiero1
1University of Trieste, INST, ICCOM-CNR, via L. Giorgieri, 1 34127 Trieste, Italy

Heterogeneous photocatalysis by readily available, metal-free catalysts is of great appeal in view of the increasing pressure on industry to move towards sustainable schemes of chemical production. Graphitic carbon nitride (g-CN) is a versatile semiconductor nanomaterial, well known for applications in energy, such as H2 photocatalytic production and CO2 reduction. We recently highlighted the key role that g-CN could play in the realm of photocatalytic organic synthesis, [1] and showed that tailoring the structure of g-CN by means of minimally invasive post-synthetic protocols could be the solution to tackle challenging coupling reactions with great efficiency [2]. 

As shown in the presentation, our endeavours focus on establishing an approach based on rational design of modified CN materials. In particular, the type of synthetic alteration of the structure and properties are defined by the structure/activity relationship within the specific reaction mechanism. Together with C-C couplings towards synthesis of perfluoralkyl compounds, we also present photocatalytic transformations such as thiol oxidation and C-N coupling triggered by a series of opportunely modified carbon nitrides, exploring the critical structural features responsible for increased activity.

[1] ACS Nano 2021, 15, 3621-3630
[2] Science Adv. 2020, 6, eabc9923; Mater. Chem. Front., 2021,

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