Thin-Film Non-Precious Metal Model Catalysts for Oxygen Reduction Reaction
Graphene and graphene-oxide (GO) thin-films transferred onto glassy carbon electrodes were used as starting materials. Nitrogen heteroatoms were incorporated into the thin-film substrates either by chemical modification in high-temperature ammonia treatments or by direct chemical activation using a unique high-flux energetic nitrogen atom beam technology, which overcomes thermal activation reaction barriers. Identification and speciation of doped nitrogen heteroatoms was performed via XPS. By varying reaction conditions, different nitrogen contents and species were obtained. Chemical-structure-to-activity relationships were then attempted through detailed physical and electrochemical characterization of the synthesis process to provide detailed information about the importance of each component addition for the formation of active and selective NPMCs.