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Confined Nanospace Synthesis of Less Aggregated and Porous Nitrogen-Doped Graphene As Metal-Free Electrocatalysts for Oxygen Reduction Reaction in Alkaline Solution

Bo, Xiangjie, Han, Ce, Zhang, Yufan, Guo, Liping
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2014 v.6 no.4 pp. 3023-3030
carbonization, catalysts, copper, electron transfer, graphene, graphene oxide, oxygen, silica
A facile and low-emission strategy is used for preparation of porous nitrogen-doped graphene (NGR) in a confined nanospace. The negative charged graphene oxide (GO) serves as a substrate for deposition of electropositive metal amine complex and then thin layer of silica (SiO₂) is formed onto the copper amine ion-coated GO. Carbonization of copper amine ion-coated GO in a confined nanospace of SiO₂ and the subsequent removal of the Cu particles and SiO₂ layer produces less aggregated and porous nitrogen-doped graphene (NGR). NGR materials are highly active, cheap, and selective metal-free electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in alkaline solution. The electron transfer for ORR at NGR catalysts is found to be around 4 at potentials ranging from −0.35 to −0.70 V. NGR may be further exploited as potentially efficient and inexpensive nonmetal ORR catalysts with good selectivity and long-term stability in alkaline solution.