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N-doping modification by plasma treatment in polyacrylonitrile derived carbon-based nanofibers for Oxygen Reduction Reaction

  • Massaglia, G.
  • Sacco, A.
  • Castellino, M.
  • Chiodoni, A.
  • Frascella, F.
  • Bianco, S.
  • Pirri, C. F.
  • Quaglio, M.
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2020
PORTO Publications Open Repository TOrino


This work aims at providing a simple and effective method to optimize and improve the nitrogen-based defects into intrinsically N-doped carbon-based electrospun nanofibers (CNFs) for achieving highly active catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). To reach this goal, plasma treatments are investigated as an effective method to tune the distribution of the N-doping sites that are vital to improve the ORR catalytic activity of the material. Morphological, physical, chemical as well as electrochemical characterizations were performed on plasma-treated CNFs to demonstrate the effectiveness of such treatments to improve the catalytic behavior of CNFs toward ORR. Finally, Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs) were selected to test the plasma-treated nanofibers as the cathode catalyst layer demonstrating an increase of the overall performance of the MFCs with respect to the devices using the Pt-based reference catalyst.

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