Synergistically enhanced activity of graphene quantum dot/multi-walled carbon nanotube composites as metal-free catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction

Xuemei Zhou, Zhimin Tian, Jing Li, Hong Ruan, Yuanyuan Ma, Zhi Yang, Yongquan Qu
Nanoscale 2014 March 7, 6 (5): 2603-7
Graphene quantum dots (GQDs), as metal-free carbon nanomaterials, have potential applications in electrochemical fields due to their strong chemical inertness, oxygen-rich functional groups and remarkable quantum confinement and edge effects. Herein, we demonstrate that a novel metal-free electrode composed of GQDs and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) exhibits a significant synergistic effect on enhanced catalytic activity for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). Compared to commercially available Pt/C catalysts, enhanced electrocatalytic activity, improved long-term stability and excellent resistance to crossover effect were observed for the novel composite electrode. Interestingly, the amount of GQDs introduced is found to have an apparent effect on the positions of the reduction peaks of the electrodes.

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