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C 2018, 4(1), 11; doi:10.3390/c4010011

Nitrogen-Doped Hollow Carbon Spheres with Embedded Co Nanoparticles as Active Non-Noble-Metal Electrocatalysts for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction

1,2
,
1
,
1,* , 1,3,* , 2,3
,
4,* and 1,3,*
1
State Key Laboratory of High Performance Ceramics and Superfine Microstructure, Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 1295 Dingxi Road, Shanghai 200050, China
2
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Shanghai University, 99 Shangda Road, Shanghai 200444, China
3
Shanghai Institute of Materials Genome, Shanghai 200050, China
4
Ningbo Institute of Materials Technology and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ningbo 315201, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 January 2018 / Revised: 4 February 2018 / Accepted: 6 February 2018 / Published: 9 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Nanoporous Carbon-Based Materials)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3317 KB, uploaded 9 February 2018]   |  

Abstract

Transition metal (Fe, Co, Ni) complexes on carbon nanomaterials are promising candidates as electrocatalysts towards the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). In this paper, nitrogen-doped hollow carbon spheres with embedded Co nanoparticles were successfully prepared via a controllable synthesis strategy. The morphology characterization shows that the hollow carbon spheres possess an average diameter of ~150 nm with a narrow size distribution and a shell thickness of ~14.5 nm. The content of N doping ranges from 2.1 to 6.6 at.% depending on the calcination temperature from 900 to 1050 °C. Compared with commercial Pt/C, the Co-containing nitrogen-doped hollow carbon spheres prepared at 900 °C (CoNHCS-900) as an ORR electrocatalyst shows a half-wave potential shift of only ∆E1/2 = 55 mV, but a superior stability of about 90.2% maintenance after 20,000 s in the O2-saturated 0.1 M KOH at a rotating speed of 1600 rpm. This could be ascribed to the synergistic effects of N-containing moieties, Co-Nx species, and Co nanoparticles, which significantly increase the density of active sites and promote the charge transfer during the ORR process. View Full-Text
Keywords: cobalt nanoparticles; hollow carbon spheres; fuel cells; electrocatalysis; oxygen reduction reaction cobalt nanoparticles; hollow carbon spheres; fuel cells; electrocatalysis; oxygen reduction reaction
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Xing, R.; Zhou, Y.; Ma, R.; Liu, Q.; Luo, J.; Yang, M.; Wang, J. Nitrogen-Doped Hollow Carbon Spheres with Embedded Co Nanoparticles as Active Non-Noble-Metal Electrocatalysts for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction. C 2018, 4, 11.

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