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Covalent triazine framework with efficient photocatalytic activity in aqueous and solid media


Covalent triazine frameworks (CTFs) have been recently employed for visible light-driven photocatalysis due to their unique optical and electronic properties. However, the usually highly hydrophobic nature of CTFs, which originates from their overall aromatic backbone, leads to limitations of CTFs for applications in aqueous media. In this study, we aim to extend the range of the application media of CTFs and design hybrid material of a CTF and mesoporous silica (SBA-15) for efficient photocatalysis in aqueous medium. A thiophene-containing CTF was directly synthesized in mesopores of SBA-15. Due to the high surface area and the added hydrophilic properties by silica, the hybrid material demonstrated excellent adsorption of organic molecules in water. This leads not only to high photocatalytic performance of the hybrid material for the degradation of organic dyes in water, but also for efficient photocatalysis in solvent-free and solid state. Furthermore, the reusability, stability and easy recovery of the hybrid material offers promising metal-free heterogeneous photocatalyst for broader applications in different reaction media.


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K. A. I. Z. acknowledges the Max Planck Society for financial support. C. A. is a recipient of a fellowship through funding of the Excellence Initiative (DFG/GSC 266) of the Graduate School of Excellence “MAINZ” (Materials Science in Mainz).


Funding Information Open access funding provided by Projekt DEAL.

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Correspondence to Kai A. I. Zhang.

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Ayed, C., Huang, W. & Zhang, K.A.I. Covalent triazine framework with efficient photocatalytic activity in aqueous and solid media. Front. Chem. Sci. Eng. 14, 397–404 (2020).

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  • photocatalysis
  • covalent triazine framework
  • aqueous medium
  • SBA-15
  • solid state