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Nitrogen-doped graphene as efficient metal-free electrocatalyst for oxygen reduction in fuel cells.

ACS Nano

chemistry, Catalysis, Electric Power Supplies, Electrochemistry, Electrodes, Microscopy, Electron, Transmission, Nitrogen, Spectrum Analysis, Raman, Oxidation-Reduction, Oxygen, Photoelectron Spectroscopy, Carbon

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      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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