Nano Research

Article Title

N-doped carbon nanocages: Bifunctional electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction and evolution reactions


N-doped carbon nanocages, bifunctional electrocatalyst, oxygen reduction reaction, oxygen evolution reaction


ABSTRACT Highly efficient metal-free, carbon-based, bi-functional electrocatalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) and oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) have attracted increased attention for use in electrochemical energy conversion systems, owing to their low cost and high activity. In this work, N-doped carbon nanocages (N-CCs) with a porous self-supported architecture and high specific surface area are synthesized by a facile interfacial assembly synthetic route. The materials are comprehensively characterized by scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, nitrogen adsorption–desorption experiments, X-ray diffraction, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Cyclic voltammetry, chronoamperometry, and linear sweep voltammetry demonstrate that the as-prepared N-CC could serve as an effective metal-free electrocatalyst with excellent catalytic activity, long-term operation durability, and excellent methanol tolerance for the ORR in alkaline media. In the presence of 3 mM methanol, the half wave potential of the N-CCs for the ORR is 190 mV; this is more positive than that of the commercial Pt/C electrocatalyst. Meanwhile, the N-CCs also show an OER activity comparable to that of the commercial Ru/C electrocatalyst, revealing their bifunctional property.

Graphical Abstract


Tsinghua University Press