Nano-Micro Letters

N, F-Codoped Microporous Carbon Nanofibers as Efficient Metal-Free Electrocatalysts for ORR

Tianle Gong1, Ruoyu Qi1, Xundao Liu2, Hong Li1,*, Yongming Zhang1

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Nano-Micro Lett. (2019) 11: 9

First Online: 22 January 2019 (Article)


*Corresponding author. E-mail: lh102@sjtu.edu.cn





Currently, the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) mainly depends on precious metal platinum (Pt) catalysts. However, Pt-based catalysts have several shortcomings, such as high cost, scarcity, and poor long-term stability. Therefore, development of efficient metal-free electrocatalysts to replace Pt-based electrocatalysts is important. In this study, we successfully prepared nitrogen- and fluorine-codoped microporous carbon nanofibers (N, F-MCFs) via electrospinning polyacrylonitrile/polyvinylidene fluoride/polyvinylpyrrolidone (PAN/PVDF/PVP) tricomponent polymers followed by a hydrothermal process and thermal treatment, which was achieved for the first time in literature. The results indicated that N, F-MCFs exhibit a high catalytic activity (Eonset: 0.92 V vs. RHE, E1/2: 0.81 V vs. RHE, and electron transfer number: 4.0) and considerably better stability and methanol tolerance for ORR in alkaline solutions as compared to commercial Pt-carbon (Pt-C, 20 wt%) catalysts. Furthermore, in acidic media, N, F-MCFs showed a four-electron transfer pathway for ORR. This study provides a new strategy for in situ synthesis of N, F-MCFs as highly efficient metal-free electrocatalysts for ORR in fuel cells.



Metal-free catalyst; Oxygen reduction reaction; N, F-codoped; Carbon nanofiber; Polyvinylidene fluoride

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