Synthesis and Application of Graphitic Carbon with High Surface Area

Authors

  • Bao Yu Xia,

    1. School of Materials Science and Engineering Shanghai Jiao Tong University 800 Dong Chuan Road, Shanghai, 200240 (P.R. China)
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  • Jian Nong Wang,

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Materials Science and Engineering Shanghai Jiao Tong University 800 Dong Chuan Road, Shanghai, 200240 (P.R. China)
    • School of Materials Science and Engineering Shanghai Jiao Tong University 800 Dong Chuan Road, Shanghai, 200240 (P.R. China).
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  • Xiao Xia Wang,

    1. School of Materials Science and Engineering Shanghai Jiao Tong University 800 Dong Chuan Road, Shanghai, 200240 (P.R. China)
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  • Jun Jie Niu,

    1. School of Materials Science and Engineering Shanghai Jiao Tong University 800 Dong Chuan Road, Shanghai, 200240 (P.R. China)
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  • Zhao Min Sheng,

    1. School of Materials Science and Engineering Shanghai Jiao Tong University 800 Dong Chuan Road, Shanghai, 200240 (P.R. China)
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  • Ming Ruo Hu,

    1. Institute of Fuel Cells, School of Mechanical Engineering Shanghai Jiao Tong University 800 Dong Chuan Road, Shanghai, 200240 (P. R. China)
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  • Qing Chun Yu

    1. Institute of Fuel Cells, School of Mechanical Engineering Shanghai Jiao Tong University 800 Dong Chuan Road, Shanghai, 200240 (P. R. China)
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  • J.N.W. is thankful to The Outstanding Youth Fund from the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the fund for the national 863 project of 2007AA05Z128 from the Ministry of Science and Technology of China.

Abstract

Nanostructured graphitic carbons have widespread applications. However, the synthesis of such materials with a high surface area is still a great challenge. In this study, we demonstrate a new approach for improving the surface area. Graphitic carbon nanocages (CNCs) are prepared by spray pyrolysis of ethanol with dissolved iron carbonyl at high temperature. Ammonium thiocyanate is added to form iron sulfide as a less active catalyst and a template with less carbon dissolution and precipitation than single-phase Fe. This addition leads to an apparent reduction in cage size from 60 to 40 nm and wall thickness from 5–10 nm to 2–4 nm and a significant increase in surface area from 227 to 550 m2 g−1 at 800 °C. As an example of a potential application, the CNCs with a thin wall and high surface area are demonstrated to be a superb material for supporting the Pt catalyst used in low-temperature fuel cells. It is suggested that the present approach may be integrated with previous methods for improving the surface area of graphitic carbons and their performance in many areas of interest.

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