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      Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Fluorine Tri-doped Graphene as a Multifunctional Catalyst for Self-Powered Electrochemical Water Splitting

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      Angewandte Chemie International Edition

      Wiley

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          Nitrogen-doped carbon nanotube arrays with high electrocatalytic activity for oxygen reduction.

          The large-scale practical application of fuel cells will be difficult to realize if the expensive platinum-based electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction reactions (ORRs) cannot be replaced by other efficient, low-cost, and stable electrodes. Here, we report that vertically aligned nitrogen-containing carbon nanotubes (VA-NCNTs) can act as a metal-free electrode with a much better electrocatalytic activity, long-term operation stability, and tolerance to crossover effect than platinum for oxygen reduction in alkaline fuel cells. In air-saturated 0.1 molar potassium hydroxide, we observed a steady-state output potential of -80 millivolts and a current density of 4.1 milliamps per square centimeter at -0.22 volts, compared with -85 millivolts and 1.1 milliamps per square centimeter at -0.20 volts for a platinum-carbon electrode. The incorporation of electron-accepting nitrogen atoms in the conjugated nanotube carbon plane appears to impart a relatively high positive charge density on adjacent carbon atoms. This effect, coupled with aligning the NCNTs, provides a four-electron pathway for the ORR on VA-NCNTs with a superb performance.
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            Nitrogen-doped graphene as efficient metal-free electrocatalyst for oxygen reduction in fuel cells.

            Nitrogen-doped graphene (N-graphene) was synthesized by chemical vapor deposition of methane in the presence of ammonia. The resultant N-graphene was demonstrated to act as a metal-free electrode with a much better electrocatalytic activity, long-term operation stability, and tolerance to crossover effect than platinum for oxygen reduction via a four-electron pathway in alkaline fuel cells. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the use of graphene and its derivatives as metal-free catalysts for oxygen reduction. The important role of N-doping to oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) can be applied to various carbon materials for the development of other metal-free efficient ORR catalysts for fuel cell applications, even new catalytic materials for applications beyond fuel cells.
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              Co3O4 Nanocrystals on Graphene as a Synergistic Catalyst for Oxygen Reduction Reaction

              Catalysts for oxygen reduction and evolution reactions are at the heart of key renewable energy technologies including fuel cells and water splitting. Despite tremendous efforts, developing oxygen electrode catalysts with high activity at low costs remains a grand challenge. Here, we report a hybrid material of Co3O4 nanocrystals grown on reduced graphene oxide (GO) as a high-performance bi-functional catalyst for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and oxygen evolution reaction (OER). While Co3O4 or graphene oxide alone has little catalytic activity, their hybrid exhibits an unexpected, surprisingly high ORR activity that is further enhanced by nitrogen-doping of graphene. The Co3O4/N-doped graphene hybrid exhibits similar catalytic activity but superior stability to Pt in alkaline solutions. The same hybrid is also highly active for OER, making it a high performance non-precious metal based bi-catalyst for both ORR and OER. The unusual catalytic activity arises from synergetic chemical coupling effects between Co3O4 and graphene.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Angewandte Chemie International Edition
                Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.
                Wiley
                14337851
                October 10 2016
                October 10 2016
                : 55
                : 42
                : 13296-13300
                Article
                10.1002/anie.201607405
                © 2016

                http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/tdm_license_1

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