Sulfur-doped graphene as an efficient metal-free cathode catalyst for oxygen reduction

ACS Nano. 2012 Jan 24;6(1):205-11. doi: 10.1021/nn203393d. Epub 2011 Dec 30.


Tailoring the electronic arrangement of graphene by doping is a practical strategy for producing significantly improved materials for the oxygen-reduction reaction (ORR) in fuel cells (FCs). Recent studies have proven that the carbon materials doped with the elements, which have the larger (N) or smaller (P, B) electronegative atoms than carbon such as N-doped carbon nanotubes (CNTs), P-doped graphite layers and B-doped CNTs, have also shown pronounced catalytic activity. Herein, we find that the graphenes doped with the elements, which have the similar electronegativity with carbon such as sulfur and selenium, can also exhibit better catalytic activity than the commercial Pt/C in alkaline media, indicating that these doped graphenes hold great potential for a substitute for Pt-based catalysts in FCs. The experimental results are believed to be significant because they not only give further insight into the ORR mechanism of these metal-free doped carbon materials, but also open a way to fabricate other new low-cost NPMCs with high electrocatalytic activity by a simple, economical, and scalable approach for real FC applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Catalysis
  • Electric Power Supplies*
  • Electrodes*
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Graphite / chemistry*
  • Metals
  • Nanostructures / chemistry*
  • Nanostructures / ultrastructure
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxygen / chemistry*
  • Particle Size
  • Sulfur / chemistry*


  • Metals
  • Sulfur
  • Graphite
  • Oxygen