Highly Crystalline and Conductive Nitrogen-Doped Mesoporous Carbon with Graphitic Walls and Its Electrochemical Performance

Authors

  • Kasibhatta K. R. Datta,

    1. International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics, World Premier International (WPI) Research Initiative, National Institute for Materials Science, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0044 (Japan)
    2. Nanomaterials and Catalysis Lab, Chemistry and Physics of Materials Unit, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Jakkur P.O., Bengaluru 560064 (India)
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  • Dr. Veerappan V. Balasubramanian,

    1. International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics, World Premier International (WPI) Research Initiative, National Institute for Materials Science, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0044 (Japan)
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  • Prof. Katsuhiko Ariga,

    1. International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics, World Premier International (WPI) Research Initiative, National Institute for Materials Science, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0044 (Japan)
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  • Dr. Toshiyuki Mori,

    1. Nanoionics Materials Group, Fuel Cell Materials Center, National Institute for Materials Science, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0044 (Japan)
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  • Prof. Ajayan Vinu

    Corresponding author
    1. International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics, World Premier International (WPI) Research Initiative, National Institute for Materials Science, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0044 (Japan)
    • International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics, World Premier International (WPI) Research Initiative, National Institute for Materials Science, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0044 (Japan)
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Abstract

We present a rational and simple methodology to fabricate highly conductive nitrogen-doped ordered mesoporous carbon with a graphitic wall structure by the simple adjustment of the carbonization temperature of mesoporous carbon nitride without the addition of any external nitrogen sources. By simply controlling the heat-treatment temperature, the structural order and intrinsic properties such as surface area, conductivity, and pore volume, and the nitrogen content of ordered graphitic mesoporous carbon can be controlled. Among the materials studied, the sample heat-treated at 1000 °C shows the highest conductivity, which is 32 times higher than that for the samples treated at 800 °C and retains the well-ordered mesoporous structure of the parent mesoporous carbon nitride and a reasonable amount of nitrogen in the graphitic framework. Since these materials exhibit high conductivity with the nitrogen atoms in the graphitic framework, we further demonstrate their use as a support for nanoparticle fabrication without the addition of any external stabilizing or size-controlling agent, as well as the anode electrode catalysts. Highly dispersed platinum nanoparticles with a size similar to that of the pore diameter of the support can be fabricated since the nitrogen atoms and the well-ordered porous structure in the mesoporous graphitic carbon framework act as a stabilizing and size-controlling agent, respectively. Furthermore the Pt-loaded, nitrogen-doped mesoporous graphitic carbon sample with a high conductivity shows much higher anodic electrocatalytic activity than the other materials used in the study.

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