Catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) are at the heart of key green-energy fuel cell technology. N-doped graphene is a potential metal-free electrode with much better electrocatalytic activity, long-term stability, and tolerance to crossover effect than expensive platinum-based electrocatalysts. Here, we report a feasible direct-synthesis method in preparing N-graphene with manageable N contents in a large scale. The resultant N-graphene used as electrocatalysts exhibits similar catalytic activity but superior stability compared to commercial Pt/C for ORR in an alkaline solution. It was found that their electrocatalytic activities were demonstrated to depend largely on N-doping content. When nitrogen content reaches a high value at about 24-25%, ORR reaction exhibits a favorable formation of water via a four-electron pathway. Furthermore, the effect of pyrolysis temperature and precursor on the activity of N-graphene is systematically analyzed, and may shed some light on the principle of choosing appropriate way for preparing N-graphene.
ASJC Scopus subject areas