A new strategy for the preparation of functional porous carbons is developed via direct, ambient-pressure, thermal pyrolysis of task-specific ionic liquids (ILs). The simple synthesis lies in the synergistic use of the negligible volatility of the ILs and incorporation of the crosslinkable nitrile groups in the anions. The resulting carbon materials at 800 °C retain an extremely high content of nitrogen (up to 18 at%).
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