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Issue 15, 2016
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Carbon dioxide activated carbon nanofibers with hierarchical micro-/mesoporosity towards electrocatalytic oxygen reduction

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Abstract

Polyacrylonitrile (PAN)-based carbon nanofibers prepared by electrospinning were physically activated using carbon dioxide as the oxidizing agent. The activation procedure was performed at 800 °C for different periods of time ranging from 15 to 60 min. The activated materials have a hierarchical structure with two sets of pore systems in the micropore range centered at ∼0.8 nm and small mesopore range centered at ∼2.8 nm. The activation not only increased the specific surface area and pore volume to 1123 m2 g−1 and 0.64 cm3 g−1, respectively, but also resulted in the evident loss of doped N atoms. The pyridinic and graphitic nitrogen groups are dominant among various N functional groups in the activated samples. CACNF-60, prepared by activating the carbon nanofibers (CNFs) for 60 min, showed excellent electrocatalytic activity for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) as well as superior long-term stability and methanol tolerance compared to commercial Pt/C in alkaline media. The excellent electrocatalytic activity of the activated sample is mainly due to its high N content (6.9 at%), unique hierarchical micro-/mesoporosity, and large specific surface area.

Graphical abstract: Carbon dioxide activated carbon nanofibers with hierarchical micro-/mesoporosity towards electrocatalytic oxygen reduction

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Publication details

The article was received on 06 Jan 2016, accepted on 06 Mar 2016 and first published on 08 Mar 2016


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C6TA00136J
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2016,4, 5553-5560
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    Carbon dioxide activated carbon nanofibers with hierarchical micro-/mesoporosity towards electrocatalytic oxygen reduction

    Y. Chen, Q. Liu and J. Wang, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2016, 4, 5553
    DOI: 10.1039/C6TA00136J

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