Nitrogen-doped graphene nanomaterials for electrochemical catalysis/reactions: A review on chemical structures and stability

N Talukder, Y Wang, BB Nunna, ES Lee*

Volume 185, 15 November 2021, Pages 198-214,

Carbon (2021)

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The electronic structure of the carbon-based nanomaterials can be modulated by doping heteroatoms into them. When nitrogen is doped into the graphene structure with different bonding configurations, it changes the material’s electronic properties in a variety of ways. Because of the tuned electronic properties, nitrogen-doped graphene (N-G) is applicable in electrochemical systems as catalyst. Despite having tremendous prospects, a holistic view of the structural and functional properties of N-G is still unclear. Moreover, to our knowledge, significant findings on the properties of N-G are not well documented yet, which creates an obstacle to the further improvement of this nanomaterial. Keeping our focus on the catalytic activities, in this paper, we presented an in-detailed review of the overall chemical structure and functional properties of N-G nanomaterials. Starting from the structural properties of major precursor materials for N-G synthesis, we reviewed the physical features and its dependence on the synthesis parameters. Also, a detailed study has been conducted on the key nitrogen functional groups’ structural properties, favorable formation environment, influence on the electronic structure of N-G, and role in the catalytic activity. Current progress on the stability of N-G nanocatalysts is reported with an insight into the degradation mechanism.