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Multiple heteroatom-doped few-layer carbons for the electrochemical oxygen reduction reaction

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Abstract

Heteroatom-doped two-dimensional (2D) carbon materials have been recognized as promising metal-free catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) due to their impressive surface activity. Such materials are often achieved by conventional chemical vapour deposition (CVD) growth followed by post-treatment of heteroatom-doping or obtained by template-guided polymerization and carbonization of organic substances. In this contribution, we report a new strategy that allows a direct conversion of three-dimensional (3D) aggregates of guanine into naturally N/O-doped ultrathin few-layer carbon nanosheets without the use of any template or guiding agent. Moreover, by pre-ionizing guanine with H2SO4/H3PO4, a group of multiple heteroatom-doped (N/O/S, N/O/P, and N/O/S/P) 2D carbons can also be readily realized. Considering the low cost of precursors and the simplicity of the synthetic procedure, large-scale production of such heteroatom-doped 2D carbons is potentially available. The best catalytic performance is obtained from the N/O/S/P-doped carbons which show a half-wave potential (E1/2) of 0.84 V vs. RHE and a diffusion-limited current density (jL) of 5.40 mA cm−2 in 0.1 M KOH, better than those of most graphene-based catalysts and even the commercial Pt/C catalyst. Systematic studies indicate that the observed superior ORR performance arises from a combined effect of the multiple heteroatom-doping, high surface area and abundant structural defects of the electrocatalyst.

Graphical abstract: Multiple heteroatom-doped few-layer carbons for the electrochemical oxygen reduction reaction

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Publication details

The article was received on 12 Jul 2018, accepted on 04 Oct 2018 and first published on 04 Oct 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8TA06743K
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, Advance Article
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    Multiple heteroatom-doped few-layer carbons for the electrochemical oxygen reduction reaction

    B. Huang, Y. Liu, X. Huang and Z. Xie, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8TA06743K

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