Prof. Chen’s recent ACS Nano paper on developing graphitic C 3 N 4 -based electrocatalysts was highlighted by Nanowerk

Recently, Professor Zhongfang Chen and his collaborators, a group of researchers led byProfessor Chunyi Zhi (City University of Hong Kong, have carefully examined effects of the component dopants on the catalytic performance of graphitic C 3 N 4 (g-C 3 N 4 )-basedelectrocatalysts. The g-C 3 N 4 monoliths with three types of dopant elements (B, P and S)embedded in different sites (either C or N) of the C-N skeleton were rationally designedand synthesized. The kinetics, intrinsic activity, charge transfer process and intermediateadsorption/desorption free energy of the selected catalysts in oxygen reduction reaction(ORR) and hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) were investigated both experimentallyand theoretically. They demonstrated that the component aspect within the g-C 3 N 4 motifshas distinct and substantial effects on the corresponding electroactivities, and propercomponent element engineering can be a viable yet efficient protocol to render the metal-free composites as competent catalysts rivaling the metallic counterparts.This study caninspire the rational design of g-C 3 N 4 -based materials as well as other metal-free catalystsfor energy-related electrocatalytic reactions.

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This research work was highlighted by Nanowerk is committed toeducate, inform and inspire about nanosciences and nanotechnologies.

Jinxing Gu, the co-first author of this paper, is the third year PhD student at UPR. Thedensity functional theory (DFT) computations he performed provided deep understandinginto the experimental findings, and helped improve the performance of the catalysts.

For more information, please refer toComponent Matters: Paving the Roadmap toward Enhanced Electrocatalytic Performanceof Graphitic C 3 N 4 -Based Catalysts via Atomic Tuning

Zengxia Pei, Jingxing Gu, Yukun Wang, Zijie Tang, Zhuoxin Liu, Yan Huang, YangHuang, Jingxiang Zhao, Zhongfang Chen,* Chunyi Zhi*ACS Nano 2017, 11, 6004-6014.