Nitrogen-doped graphene-rich catalysts derived from heteroatom polymers for oxygen reduction in nonaqueous lithium-O2 battery cathodes

Gang Wu, Nathan H Mack, Wei Gao, Shuguo Ma, Ruiqin Zhong, Jiantao Han, Jon K Baldwin, Piotr Zelenay
ACS Nano 2012 November 27, 6 (11): 9764-76
In this work, we present a synthesis approach for nitrogen-doped graphene-sheet-like nanostructures via the graphitization of a heteroatom polymer, in particular, polyaniline, under the catalysis of a cobalt species using multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) as a supporting template. The graphene-rich composite catalysts (Co-N-MWNTs) exhibit substantially improved activity for oxygen reduction in nonaqueous lithium-ion electrolyte as compared to those of currently used carbon blacks and Pt/carbon catalysts, evidenced by both rotating disk electrode and Li-O(2) battery experiments. The synthesis-structure-activity correlations for the graphene nanostructures were explored by tuning their synthetic chemistry (support, nitrogen precursor, heating temperature, and transition metal type and content) to investigate how the resulting morphology and nitrogen-doping functionalities (e.g., pyridinic, pyrrolic, and quaternary) influence the catalyst activity. In particular, an optimal temperature for heat treatment during synthesis is critical to creating a high-surface-area catalyst with favorable nitrogen doping. The sole Co phase, Co(9)S(8), was present in the catalyst but plays a negligible role in ORR. Nevertheless, the addition of Co species in the synthesis is indispensable for achieving high activity, due to its effects on the final catalyst morphology and structure, including surface area, nitrogen doping, and graphene formation. This new route for the preparation of a nitrogen-doped graphene nanocomposite with carbon nanotube offers synthetic control of morphology and nitrogen functionality and shows promise for applications in nonaqueous oxygen reduction electrocatalysis for Li-O(2) battery cathodes.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"