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Phytic acid-guided ultra-thin N, P co-doped carbon coated carbon nanotube for efficient all-pH electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution

Abstract

Nanostructure engineering of heteroatom-doped carbon catalysts can greatly enhance their electrocatalytic activity by increasing the accessible active sites and beneficial physical properties (e.g., surface area, conductivity, etc.). Herein, we successfully constructed an ultra-thin N, P co-doped carbon (NPC) on the surface of multi-walled carbon nanotube (CNT) by selecting phytic acid (PA) as a “guide”. The rich phosphate groups in PA allow them to be covalently modified on the surface of CNT by condensation reaction and to further attract large aniline monomers through acid-base interactions, resulting in the uniform and tight bonding between polyaniline and CNT after the polymerization process. During the subsequent thermal reaction, PA also serves as a self-sacrificial dopant for the formation of ultra-thin NPC and the doping amount of P in NPC can be easily adjusted by changing the amount of PA. Due to the abundance of active sites, large electrochemical active surface area and rapid electron transfer, the developed CNT@NPC presents remarkable electrocatalytic activitives for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) with an overpotential of 167, 440 and 304 mV to reach a current density of 10 mA cm-2 in acidic, neutral, and alkaline electrolytes, respectively. In particular, the acidic HER activity of it exceeds most of the reported metal-free electrocatalysts and is comparable to some excellent transition metal-based catalysts. The approach proposed here is of potential importance to the preparation of ideal heteroatom-doped carbon/nanocarbon composite for use in a variety of future energy conversion systems.

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Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 26 Aug 2019, accepted on 31 Oct 2019 and first published on 31 Oct 2019


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C9NR07362K
Nanoscale, 2019, Accepted Manuscript

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    Phytic acid-guided ultra-thin N, P co-doped carbon coated carbon nanotube for efficient all-pH electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution

    F. Xiao, Z. Chen, H. Wu, Y. Wang, E. Cao, X. Lu, Y. Wu and Z. Ren, Nanoscale, 2019, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C9NR07362K

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