Recent Results

Important Progress in Nano-Carbon Catalysis

Important progress in nano-carbon catalysis has been recently made from the Nano and Interfacial Research Group of State Key Laboratory of Catalysis (SKLC). This work has been recently published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015, DOI: 10.1002/anie.201409524) and selected as a “Hot Paper” by the journal.

On the basis of previous studies towards nano-carbon catalysis, associate Prof. Dehui Deng and Prof. Xinhe Bao etc. has innovated the preparation strategy of two-dimensional graphene-like materials and successfully synthesized ultrathin graphene shells (generally 1-3 layers) encapsulating uniform 3d transition metal nanoparticles. DFT calculations and experiments indicate that the active electron of encapsulated metal nanoparticles will penetrate through the graphene layer to the outermost surface, thereby leading to a high catalytic activity on the graphene surface. The graphene shells encapsulating CoNi nanoalloys based on the theory shows a superior catalytic activity and durability for electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) in acidic medium with an overpotential of only 142 mV at the current density of 10 mA/cm2, which is quite close to the commercial 40% Pt/C. The present work opens up a new pathway for the design and synthesis of non-precious-metal catalysts under harsh reaction conditions.

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