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Issue 32, 2015
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A graphene-directed assembly route to hierarchically porous Co–Nx/C catalysts for high-performance oxygen reduction

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Abstract

The development of non-precious metal catalysts for efficient oxygen reduction is of significance for many advanced electrochemical devices such as fuel cells and metal–air batteries. Herein, we develop a graphene-directed assembly route to synthesize hierarchically nanoporous Co–Nx/C materials with a macro/meso/microporous structure, high specific surface area (i.e. 512 m2 g−1) and excellent conductivity using graphene oxide (GO) supported zeolitic imidazolate framework nanocrystal arrays as a catalyst precursor, followed by the carbonization and acid leaching process. In this route, GO acts as a structure-directing agent to construct ZIF nanocrystal arrays supported on GO nanosheets. During the carbonization process, the resulting reduced graphene oxide functions as a binder and electrical conductor to connect individual ZIF-derived carbon nanoparticles into the macroporous structure and increase the overall conductivity. ZIF nanocrystals themselves are also converted into meso/microporous carbon nanoparticles without using any other template. The hierarchically porous Co–Nx/C materials exhibit high ORR catalytic activity, superior stability and good methanol tolerance under both alkaline and acidic conditions.

Graphical abstract: A graphene-directed assembly route to hierarchically porous Co–Nx/C catalysts for high-performance oxygen reduction

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Publication details

The article was received on 15 Jun 2015, accepted on 14 Jul 2015 and first published on 14 Jul 2015


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C5TA04330A
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J. Mater. Chem. A, 2015,3, 16867-16873

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    A graphene-directed assembly route to hierarchically porous Co–Nx/C catalysts for high-performance oxygen reduction

    J. Wei, Y. Hu, Z. Wu, Y. Liang, S. Leong, B. Kong, X. Zhang, D. Zhao, G. P. Simon and H. Wang, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2015, 3, 16867
    DOI: 10.1039/C5TA04330A

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