Construction of porous N-doped graphene layer for efficient oxygen reduction reaction

Xiaofang Chen, Yan Liang, Li Wan, Zongli Xie, Christopher D. Easton, Laure Bourgeois, Ziyu Wang, Qiaoliang Bao, Yonggang Zhu, Shanwen Tao, Huanting Wang

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Graphitic carbon materials have shown great potential for use as high-performance catalysts for electrochemical reactions and devices. In this work, we developed a simple and versatile method for synthesis of porous N-doped graphene layers (NGS) by high-temperature treatment of chitosan film deposited on the graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) nanosheets. In the sandwiched chitosan/g-C3N4/chitosan structure, the g-C3N4 nanosheet served as a substrate for chitosan film. The pyrolysis of this substrate, g-C3N4 nanosheet, prevented the severe agglomeration of as-carbonized chitosan sheets and resulted the porous structure. The BET surface area, micropore volume, nitrogen content and graphitic level of result sample highly depended on the heat-treatment temperature. The NGS synthesized at 1000 °C (NGS-1000) exhibited an ultrahigh specific surface area (1183 m2 g−1) and high nitrogen content (4.12%). Importantly, NGS-1000 exhibited a higher limiting current density (5.8 mA cm−2) and a greater stability than the commercial Pt/C electrocatalyst in alkaline media for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). Such excellent electrocatalytic performance can be explained by a balanced combination of appropriate nitrogen doping level, the degree of graphitization, porous structure, and high specific surface area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-44
Number of pages9
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2019


  • Electrocatalytic activity
  • g-CN
  • Microporous N-doped graphene
  • Nitrogen doping
  • Oxygen reduction reaction

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