Synthesis of carbon nanotubes@mesoporous carbon core-shell structured electrocatalysts: Via a molecule-mediated interfacial co-assembly strategy

Xiaohang Zhu, Yuan Xia, Xingmiao Zhang, Areej Abdulkareem Al-Khalaf, Tiancong Zhao, Jixue Xu, Liang Peng, Wael N. Hozzein, Wei Li, Dongyuan Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

Core-shell structured mesoporous materials have received great interest for various applications. However, it remains a great challenge to coat mesoporous carbon shells with large accessible pores and short tubular channels due to the difficulty in controlling the interfacial interactions during the co-assembly process. Herein, uniform carbon nanotubes@mesoporous N-doped carbon (CNTs@mesoNC) core-shell structured nanofibers are synthesized by a molecule-mediated interfacial co-assembly strategy. The interaction between F127 and polydopamine can be well mediated by 1,3,5-trimethyl benzene molecules, thus enabling the formation of composited micelles and ensuring the interfacial co-assembly on the CNT surface. Such a strategy is very simple and versatile for synthesis of various mesoporous carbon-based core-shell structures. The obtained CNTs@mesoNC nanofibers possess highly conductive CNT cores, ultrathin shell thickness (∼28 nm), perpendicular mesopores (∼6.9 nm) in the shell, high surface area (∼768 m2 g-1), and abundant N-doping sites (6.9 at%), which distinguish them from bulk mesoporous carbons with small pore sizes. As a result, the nanofibers exhibit superior electrocatalytic performance toward the oxygen reduction reaction in alkaline media. This method paves a way to design functional core-shell materials with uniform mesoporous carbon shells for potential applications in adsorption, catalysis and energy fields.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8975-8983
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry A
Volume7
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019

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