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A bottom-up, template-free route to mesoporous N-doped carbons for efficient oxygen electroreduction

Authors
  • Wu, Jinghao1
  • Liu, Ji2
  • Li, Ligui2, 3
  • Wang, Xiufang1
  • 1 Guangdong Pharmaceutical University, School of Pharmacy, Guangzhou, 510006, People’s Republic of China , Guangzhou (China)
  • 2 South China University of Technology, New Energy Research Institute, College of Environment and Energy, Guangzhou, 510006, People’s Republic of China , Guangzhou (China)
  • 3 South China University of Technology, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Environment and Pollution Control, College of Environment and Energy, Guangzhou, 510006, People’s Republic of China , Guangzhou (China)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Materials Science
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
May 09, 2017
Volume
52
Issue
16
Pages
9794–9805
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10853-017-1165-8
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

Herein, we report a facile, bottom-up route to the preparation of N-doped carbons with a high surface area as well as plenty of hierarchical pores by thermal annealing the black bread-like sulfuric acid-dehydrated sucrose. This simple sulfuric acid treatment created a remarkable surface area of 645.7 m2/g in the dehydrated sucrose, and the subsequent thermal annealing with activated reagent ZnCl2 and nitrogen source NH4Cl helped further generated more porous textures in the carbon matrix, which contributes to a high surface area of 2450 m2/g, a large number of hierarchical pores ranging from 2 to 150 nm in a highly porous N-doped carbon to sufficiently expose active sites and boost mass transfer. The best sample N/PC-800, which was thermally annealed at 800 °C, is able to selectively catalyze the 4e− ORR process and shows higher working stability, stronger tolerance to methanol crossover effect, a very comparable onset potential and diffusion-limited current density in alkaline electrolyte, compared to the benchmark Pt/C catalyst. The results in this study signify the validity of present facile, robust template-free method in the synthesis of highly porous N-doped carbons for electrochemical energy conversion and storage.

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