Facile synthesis of nitrogen and sulfur codoped carbon from ionic liquid as metal-free catalyst for oxygen reduction reaction

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7214-7221
Journal / PublicationACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number13
Online published25 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2015


Developing metal-free catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) is a great challenge in the development of fuel cells. Nitrogen and sulfur codoped carbon with remarkably high nitrogen content up to 13.00 at % was successfully fabricated by pyrolysis of homogeneous mixture of exfoliated graphitic flakes and ionic liquid 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide ([Bimi][Tf2N]). The exfoliated graphite flakes served as a structure-directing substance as well as additional carbon source in the fabrication. It was demonstrated that the use of graphite flakes increased the nitrogen doping level, optimized the composition of active nitrogen configurations, and enlarged the specific surface area of the catalysts. Electrochemical characterizations revealed that the N and S codoped carbon fabricated by this method exhibited superior catalytic activities toward ORR under both acidic and alkaline conditions. Particularly in alkaline solution, the current catalyst compared favorably to the conventional 20 wt % Pt/C catalyst via four-electron transfer pathway with better ORR selectivity. The excellent catalytic activity was mainly ascribed to high nitrogen doping content, appropriate constitution of active nitrogen configurations, large specific surface area, and synergistic effect of N and S codoping.

Research Area(s)

  • Ionic liquid, Metal-free catalyst, Nitrogen and sulfur codoping, Oxygen reduction reaction

Citation Format(s)