Research Article Issue
Enhanced N-doping in mesoporous carbon for efficient electrocatalytic CO2 conversion
Nano Research 2019, 12 (9): 2324-2329
Published: 23 April 2019

The capability of electrocatalytic reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) using nitrogen (N)-doped carbon strongly depends on the N-doping level and their types. In this work, we developed a strategy to generate mesoporous N-doped carbon frameworks with tunable configurations and contents of N dopants, by using a secondary doping process via the treatment of N, N-dimethylformamide (DMF) solvent. The obtained mesoporous N-doped carbon (denoted as MNC-D) served as an efficient electrocatalyst for electroreduction of CO2 to CO. A high Faradaic efficiency of ~ 92% and a partial current density for CO of -6.8 mA·cm-2 were achieved at a potential of -0.58 V vs. RHE. Electrochemical analyses further revealed that the active sites within the N-doped carbon catalysts were the pyridinic N and defects generated by the DMF treatment, which enhanced the activation and adsorption CO2 molecules. Our study suggests a new approach to develop efficient carbon-based catalysts for potential scalable CO2RR to fuels and chemicals.

Review Article Issue
Aqueous electrocatalytic N2 reduction under ambient conditions
Nano Research 2018, 11 (6): 2992-3008
Published: 22 May 2018

Recently, the electrochemical N2 reduction reaction (NRR) in aqueous electrolytes at ambient temperature and pressure has demonstrated its unique advantages and potentials. The reactants are directly derived from gaseous N2 and water, which are naturally abundant, and NH3 production is important for fertilizers and other industrial applications. To improve the conversion yield and selectivity (mainly competing with water reduction), electrocatalysts must be rationally designed to optimize the mass transport, chemisorption, and transduction pathways of protons and electrons. In this review, we summarize recent progress in the electrochemical NRR. Studies of electrocatalyst designs are summarized for different categories, including metal-based catalysts, metal oxide-derived catalysts, and hybrid catalysts. Strategies for enhancing the NRR performance based on the facet orientation, metal oxide interface, crystallinity, and nitrogen vacancies are presented. Additional system designs, such as lithium-nitrogen batteries, and the solvent effect are introduced. Finally, existing challenges and prospects are discussed.

Review Article Issue
Tailoring interface of lead-halide perovskite solar cells
Nano Research 2017, 10 (5): 1471-1497
Published: 18 January 2017

Lead-halide perovskite solar cells (PSCs) have attracted tremendous attention during the past few years owing to their extraordinary electronic and photonic properties. To improve the performances of PSCs, many researchers have focused on the compositional engineering, solvent engineering, and film fabrication methodologies. Interfacial engineering of PSCs has become a burgeoning field in which researchers aim to deeply understand the mechanisms of cells and thereby increase the efficiency and stability of PSCs. This review focuses on the interface tailoring of lead-halide PSCs, including the modification of each layer of the cell structure (i.e., perovskite absorber, electron-transport layers, and hole- transport layers) and the interfacial materials that can be introduced into the PSCs.

Research Article Issue
Branched Co3O4/Fe2O3 nanowires as high capacity lithium-ion battery anodes
Nano Research 2013, 6 (3): 167-173
Published: 21 January 2013

We report a facile, two-step hydrothermal synthesis of a novel Co3O4/α-Fe2O3 branched nanowire heterostructure, which can serve as a good candidate for lithium-ion battery anodes with high Li+ storage capacity and stability. The single-crystalline, primary Co3O4 nanowire trunk arrays directly grown on Ti substrates allow for efficient electrical and ionic transport. The secondary α-Fe2O3 branches provide enhanced surface area and high theoretical Li+ storage capacity, and can also serve as volume spacers between neighboring Co3O4 NW arrays to maintain electrolyte penetration as well as reduce the aggregation during Li+ intercalation, thus leading to improved electrochemical energy storage performance.

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