Journal of Solid State Electrochemistry

, Volume 22, Issue 11, pp 3467–3474 | Cite as

A facile approach for constructing nitrogen-doped carbon layers over carbon nanotube surface for oxygen reduction reaction

  • Zong Liu
  • Yuan Wang
  • Ligang FengEmail author
Original Paper


Fabricating nitrogen-doped carbon layers over the conductive substrate is a cost-effective and efficient approach to develop practical oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalyst. In the current work, relying on the commercially available carbon nanotube (CNT), nitrogen-doped carbon layers over CNT is constructed by annealing the in situ formed complex over the CNT surface derived from iron ion inducing diaminonaphthalene (DAN) polymerization and DAN self-polymerization. Physical and electrochemical characterizations are carefully conducted to comparatively analyze the structure and activity relationship. The significance of iron in constructing nitrogen-doped carbon layers and tuning active sites of N types over multiwall carbon nanotube for ORR is demonstrated by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and Raman scattering spectrum. The excellent performance of nitrogen-doped carbon layers over CNT (catalyzed by iron) towards ORR is displayed by rotating ring-disk electrode. Specifically, the onset potential, half-wave potential, and limiting current density are 0.961 V, 0.831 V, and 5.20 mA cm−2 respectively, very close to the state-of-the-art commercial Pt/C catalyst. Both high surface area and efficient N active sites should be considered in the nitrogen-doped carbon materials design and fabrication for ORR. Considering the large-scale availability, it has significant value in fuel cells commercial applications.


Fuel cells Oxygen reduction reaction N-doped carbon Carbon nanotube Catalyst 



We acknowledge the technical support received at the Testing Center of Yangzhou University.

Funding information

The work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21603041), a project funded by the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institution.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10008_2018_4061_MOESM1_ESM.docx (935 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 935 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringYangzhou UniversityYangzhouChina

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