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Chemistry. 2014 Mar 10;20(11):3106-12. doi: 10.1002/chem.201304561. Epub 2014 Feb 12.

Nitrogen and phosphorus dual-doped hierarchical porous carbon foams as efficient metal-free electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction reactions.

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  • 1Key Laboratory for Ultrafine Materials of Ministry of Education, School of Materials Science and Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai 200237 (P.R. China), Fax: (+86) 21-64250624.


Despite tremendous progress in developing doped carbocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), the ORR activity of current metal-free carbocatalysts is still inferior to that of conventional Pt/C catalysts, especially in acidic media and neutral solution. Moreover, it also remains a challenge to develop an effective and scalable method for the synthesis of metal-free carbocatalysts. Herein, we have developed nitrogen and phosphorus dual-doped hierarchical porous carbon foams (HP-NPCs) as efficient metal-free electrocatalysts for ORR. The HP-NPCs were prepared for the first time by copyrolyzing nitrogen- and phosphorus-containing precursors and poly(vinyl alcohol)/polystyrene (PVA/PS) hydrogel composites as in situ templates. Remarkably, the resulting HP-NPCs possess controllable nitrogen and phosphorus content, high surface area, and a hierarchical interconnected macro-/mesoporous structure. In studying the effects of the HP-NPCs on the ORR, we found that the as-prepared HP-NPC materials exhibited not only excellent catalytic activity for ORR in basic, neutral, and acidic media, but also much better tolerance for methanol oxidation and much higher stability than the commercial, state-of-the-art Pt/C catalysts. Because of all these outstanding features, it is expected that the HP-NPC material will be a very suitable catalyst for next-generation fuel cells and lithium-air batteries. In addition, the novel synthetic method described here might be extended to the preparation of many other kinds of hierarchical porous carbon materials or porous carbon that contains metal oxide for wide applications including energy storage, catalysis, and electrocatalysis.

© 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


doping; nitrogen; phosphorus; reduction; synergistic effects

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