Boron carbon nitride (BCN) is a promising earth-abundant photocatalyst material. It has excellent thermal stability and chemical stability. The crystalline form is a ternary system with a tunable band gap. It is possible to obtain nanosheets of BCN. Nanosheets have a relatively high surface area and are stable for a long time at 2 A g-1.
Thin film materials of BCN can be obtained by a simple furnace set-up. They can be fabricated in high density catalytic sites. These materials are useful in hydrogen evolution reactions. However, they exhibit moderate photocatalytic activity. In order to obtain a better photocatalytic property, boron-carbon nitride nanomaterials should be studied carefully. To do so, XPS and photoluminescence spectroscopy are necessary.
XPS spectroscopy was carried out using a high-resolution XPS spectrometer. It revealed the B, C, N, and O compositions of the boron-carbon nitride films. It also showed that the band gap is 1.0 eV. Moreover, a major contribution from -C=N-C- trizinic groups was observed. Besides, the interplanar distance was 0.349 nm.
During the process of synthesis, the boron concentration was varied. Different bonding was observed between boron and nitrogen atoms in the nitrides. This resulted in the formation of different nanostructures. For instance, the rhombohedral BN is considered sp2. There are a few-layered boron carbon nitride nanosheets, which have two to six atomic layers.
Among these structures, the h-BC2N has a broken lattice symmetry. According to the XPS spectra, the B-N-O bonding energy is 190.7 eV.