Nano Research

Article Title

Solid ion transition route to 3D S–N-codoped hollow carbon nanosphere/graphene aerogel as a metal-free handheld nanocatalyst for organic reactions


bulk nanocatalyst, solid ion transition, graphene aerogel, S-N-codoped, metal-free


ABSTRACT A novel metal-free bulk nanocatalyst, S–N-codoped hollow carbon nanosphere/ graphene aerogel (SNC-GA-1000), has been successfully fabricated using a facile and clean solid ion transition route. In this method, ZnS is used as the hard template and S source, while polydopamine acts as a reducing agent and carbon source. At a high annealing temperature, Zn metal is reduced and evaporates, leaving only free S vapor to diffuse into the carbon layer. Interestingly, the as-obtained SNC-GA-1000 exhibits much higher catalytic activity in an organic reduction reaction than unloaded bare S–N-codoped carbon nanospheres. Hydrothermal reduction of the graphene oxide sheets loaded with ZnS@polydopamine core–shell nanospheres (ZnS@PDA) affords a three-dimensional bulk graphene aerogel. Although nanosized catalysts exhibit high catalytic activities, their subsequent separation is not always satisfactory, making post-treatment difficult. This approach achieves a trade-off between activity and separability. More importantly, due to the 3D structural nature, such bulk and handheld nanocatalysts can be easily separated and recycled.

Graphical Abstract


Tsinghua University Press