In situ synthesis of highly dispersed Co–N–C catalysts with carbon-coated sandwich structures based on defect anchoring†
Highly dispersed Co–N–C catalysts were successfully prepared via a defect strategy to anchor metal atoms with a carbon coating. The catalysts showed remarkable catalytic performance under mild conditions (a yield of 97.0% for ethylbenzene oxidation). Meanwhile, BET, TEM, XRD, Raman spectroscopy and XPS studies were employed to investigate the as-prepared catalysts. The results revealed that the unique structure was conducive to producing more defects in carbon, increasing the number of active sites and enhancing the dispersion of cobalt. The outstanding catalytic performance of the catalysts was attributed to the synergy effect of the special structure and the Co–N, pyridine nitrogen and graphite nitrogen species.