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  Journal of Nanoscience Letters 2013, 3: 9
  Research Article
Nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes as metal-free catalysts for the oxygen reduction in alkaline and acidic media
  Pawel Szroedera,b, Nikos G. Tsierkezosb, Uwe Ritterb, Wlodzimierz Strupinskic  
a Instytut Fizyki, Uniwersytet Mikolaja Kopernika, ul. Grudziadzka 5/7, 87-100 Torun, Poland
b Institut für Chemie und Biotechnik, Technische Universität Ilmenau, Weimarer Straße 25, 98693 Ilmenau, Germany
c Instytut Technologii Materialów Elektronicznych, ul. Wólczynska 133, 01-919 Warszawa, Poland

  The electrochemical reduction of oxygen was investigated on carbon nanotube (CNT) electrodes in alkaline and acidic aqueous solutions. The CNT-based electrodes were produced by means of chemical vapor deposition (CVD) technique with decomposition of acetonitrile (ACN) and benzene (BZ) carbon source materials in the presence of catalyst. Namely, upon decomposition of ACN and BZ, nitrogen-doped and pristine CNTs, respectively, were produced. The electrochemistry experiments were performed by means of cyclic voltammetry (CV) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) in Ar-protected and O2-saturated aqueous solution of KOH and H2SO4. For comparison reasons, the electrochemical experiments were also performed on epitaxial graphene deposited on SiC as well as on conventional Pt, Au, and glassy carbon electrodes. The obtained results demonstrate that the strong doping with nitrogen of low-dimensional carbons is the best strategy to obtain an efficient metal-free catalyst for the oxygen reduction.
  Carbon nanotubes; Chemical vapor deposition; Cyclic voltammetry; Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy; Oxygen reduction  

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