Research Article


2018, 11(4): 1905–1916


N-doped carbon nanocages: Bifunctional electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction and evolution reactions

Nan Jia, Qiang Weng, Yaru Shi, Xinyan Shi, Xinbing Chen, Pei Chen (*), Zhongwei An, and Yu Chen

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Key Laboratory of Applied Surface and Colloid Chemistry (MOE), School of Materials Science and Engineering, Shaanxi Normal University, Xian 710062, China
Nan Jia and Qiang Weng contributed equally to this work.

Keywords: N-doped carbon nanocages, bifunctional electrocatalyst, oxygen reduction reaction, oxygen evolution reaction
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ABSTRACT Highly efficient metal-free, carbon-based, bi-functional electrocatalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) and oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) have attracted increased attention for use in electrochemical energy conversion systems, owing to their low cost and high activity. In this work, N-doped carbon nanocages (N-CCs) with a porous self-supported architecture and high specific surface area are synthesized by a facile interfacial assembly synthetic route. The materials are comprehensively characterized by scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, nitrogen adsorption–desorption experiments, X-ray diffraction, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Cyclic voltammetry, chronoamperometry, and linear sweep voltammetry demonstrate that the as-prepared N-CC could serve as an effective metal-free electrocatalyst with excellent catalytic activity, long-term operation durability, and excellent methanol tolerance for the ORR in alkaline media. In the presence of 3 mM methanol, the half wave potential of the N-CCs for the ORR is 190 mV; this is more positive than that of the commercial Pt/C electrocatalyst. Meanwhile, the N-CCs also show an OER activity comparable to that of the commercial Ru/C electrocatalyst, revealing their bifunctional property.
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N-doped carbon nanocages: Bifunctional electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction and evolution reactions. Nano Res. 2018, 11(4): 1905–1916

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