Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2009

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Edward G. Gillan

First Committee Member

Darrell Eyman

Second Committee Member

Julie Jessop

Third Committee Member

Sarah Larsen

Fourth Committee Member

Johna Leddy


This dissertation describes research on the synthesis and characterization of extended heptazine–based, graphite–like carbon nitride materials (CNx), as well as molecular heptazine (C6N7) derivatives. Spurred on by recent triazine to heptazine conversion studies, a structural examination was performed on an amorphous nitrogen–rich carbon nitride material formed via the rapid and exothermic self-propagating decomposition of a triazine (C3N3) precursor, trichloromelamine (TCM). The thermally stable and insoluble CNxHy product was determined to be composed of heptazine repeat units. This conclusion was supported by 13C solid state NMR and isolation of molecular heptazine anions after base hydrolysis (structural deconstruction) of the CNxHy material.

Modifications to the decomposition of TCM were explored. Introduction of a solid template (NaCl or silica) led to morphological changes in the TCM–CNx product, observed by scanning electron microscopy. It was found that the sodium salts, NaBr and NaN3, led to chloride exchange with TCM. The use of mixtures of NH4Cl and NaN3 also showed changes in the morphology of the material, while leading to slight changes in the IR spectra. A series of reactions between NaBH4 and TCM yield novel thermally stable boron carbon nitride (BCN) materials. Reactions between TCM and Li2C2 or aromatic organic solids led to CNx materials with increased carbon contents.

Crystalline metal–heptazine precipitates were generated by cation exchange reaction with the base hydrolysis product of TCM–CNx, potassium cyamelurate. A structure solution was attempted for the crystalline copper cyamelurate salt, KCu[C6N7O3]·4H2O. Neutral molecular heptazines were also synthesized; these species included 2,5,8–tribromo–s–heptazine (TBH), 2,5,8–triphenyl–s–heptazine (TPH), 2,5,8–tris(diisopropylamino)–s–heptazine (TAmH), and 2–bis(trimethylsilyl)amido–5,8–dichloroheptazine (DCAH). These materials were sublimable and showed interesting optical absorption and emission properties. A polymeric heptazine material was synthesized by thermal decomposition of DCAH.

Several attempts were made to synthesize polymeric materials from heptazine precursors. Extended solids with C6N8 and C9N7 stoichiometry were made through solid state metathesis reactions between trichloroheptazine and either lithium nitride or lithium carbide. Powder X–ray diffraction indicated that salt formation was occurring during these reactions and products had the desired stoichiometry by elemental analysis. It was generally observed that CNx materials containing excess carbon displayed increased thermal stability when compared to pure CNx.


Carbon nitride, Heptazine


xix, 194 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 184-194).


Copyright 2009 James Robert Holst

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