Nitrogen-doped graphene as efficient metal-free electrocatalyst for oxygen reduction in fuel cells

ACS Nano. 2010 Mar 23;4(3):1321-6. doi: 10.1021/nn901850u.


Nitrogen-doped graphene (N-graphene) was synthesized by chemical vapor deposition of methane in the presence of ammonia. The resultant N-graphene was demonstrated to act as a metal-free electrode with a much better electrocatalytic activity, long-term operation stability, and tolerance to crossover effect than platinum for oxygen reduction via a four-electron pathway in alkaline fuel cells. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the use of graphene and its derivatives as metal-free catalysts for oxygen reduction. The important role of N-doping to oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) can be applied to various carbon materials for the development of other metal-free efficient ORR catalysts for fuel cell applications, even new catalytic materials for applications beyond fuel cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carbon / chemistry*
  • Catalysis
  • Electric Power Supplies*
  • Electrochemistry
  • Electrodes
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Nitrogen / chemistry*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxygen / chemistry*
  • Photoelectron Spectroscopy
  • Spectrum Analysis, Raman


  • Carbon
  • Nitrogen
  • Oxygen