Low-Temperature Carbide-Mediated Growth of Bicontinuous Nitrogen-Doped Mesoporous Graphene as an Efficient Oxygen Reduction Electrocatalyst

Journal: Advanced Materials

Published: 2018-09-01

DOI: 10.1002/adma.201803588

Affiliations: 3

Authors: 7

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Research Highlight

Doped graphene could catalyse renewable energy developments

© nikamata/Getty

© nikamata/Getty

A low-temperature way to make porous nitrogen-doped graphene, which could have applications from next-generation batteries to carbon-free fuels, has been developed by scientists at the Advanced Institute for Materials Research (AIMR) at Tohoku University.

Many promising renewable-energy applications, including fuel cells and metal–air batteries, rely on splitting molecular oxygen (O2). Hydrogen fuel cells, for example, combine hydrogen and oxygen to release electricity, producing water as the by-product. But until now, highly active oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalysts have required platinum, a rare and expensive metal.

AIMR researchers have now produced a high-performance ORR catalyst from inexpensive, earth-abundant elements carbon and nitrogen. They developed a low-temperature, nickel-based method for growing porous, single-atom-thick carbon sheets called graphene. To improve its electrocatalytic ORR performance, the researchers doped the graphene with a high number of nitrogen atoms.

When the team tested their material as an electrode for a zinc–air battery, it showed comparable performance to a platinum-based electrode and a higher durability.

Supported content

  1. Advanced Materials 30, 1803588 (2018). doi: 10.1002/adma.201803588
Institutions Share
Tohoku University, Japan 0.64
Johns Hopkins University (JHU), United States of America (USA) 0.21
AIST-TohokuU Mathematics for Advanced Materials-Open Innovation Labratory (MathAM-OIL), Japan 0.14