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ZIF-derived in situ nitrogen-doped porous carbons as efficient metal-free electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction reaction

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      Nanostructured materials for advanced energy conversion and storage devices.

      New materials hold the key to fundamental advances in energy conversion and storage, both of which are vital in order to meet the challenge of global warming and the finite nature of fossil fuels. Nanomaterials in particular offer unique properties or combinations of properties as electrodes and electrolytes in a range of energy devices. This review describes some recent developments in the discovery of nanoelectrolytes and nanoelectrodes for lithium batteries, fuel cells and supercapacitors. The advantages and disadvantages of the nanoscale in materials design for such devices are highlighted.
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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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          Exceptional chemical and thermal stability of zeolitic imidazolate frameworks.

          Twelve zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIFs; termed ZIF-1 to -12) have been synthesized as crystals by copolymerization of either Zn(II) (ZIF-1 to -4, -6 to -8, and -10 to -11) or Co(II) (ZIF-9 and -12) with imidazolate-type links. The ZIF crystal structures are based on the nets of seven distinct aluminosilicate zeolites: tetrahedral Si(Al) and the bridging O are replaced with transition metal ion and imidazolate link, respectively. In addition, one example of mixed-coordination imidazolate of Zn(II) and In(III) (ZIF-5) based on the garnet net is reported. Study of the gas adsorption and thermal and chemical stability of two prototypical members, ZIF-8 and -11, demonstrated their permanent porosity (Langmuir surface area = 1,810 m(2)/g), high thermal stability (up to 550 degrees C), and remarkable chemical resistance to boiling alkaline water and organic solvents.
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            EESNBY
            Energy Environ. Sci.
            Energy Environ. Sci.
            Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
            1754-5692
            1754-5706
            2014
            2014
            : 7
            : 1
            : 442-450
            10.1039/C3EE42799D
            © 2014
            Product
            Self URI (article page): http://xlink.rsc.org/?DOI=C3EE42799D

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