A Unique 3D Nitrogen-Doped Carbon Composite as High-Performance Oxygen Reduction Catalyst
Tung, Tran Thanh
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The synthesis and properties of an oxygen reduction catalyst based on a unique 3-dimensional (3D) nitrogen doped (N-doped) carbon composite are described. The composite material is synthesised via a two-step hydrothermal and pyrolysis method using bio-source low-cost materials of galactose and melamine. Firstly, the use of iron salts and galactose to hydrothermally produceiron oxide (Fe2O3) magnetic nanoparticle clusters embedded carbon spheres. Secondly, magnetic nanoparticles diffused out of the carbon sphere when pyrolysed in the presence of melamine as nitrogen precursor. Interestingly, many of these nanoparticles, as catalyst-grown carbon nanotubes (CNTs), resulted in the formation of N-doped CNTs and N-doped carbon spheres under the decomposition of carbon and a nitrogen environment. The composite material consists of integrated N-doped carbon microspheres and CNTs show high ORR activity through a predominantly four-electron pathway.