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Title: Precursor-mediated in situ growth of hierarchical N-doped graphene nanofibers confining nickel single atoms for CO 2 electroreduction
Despite the various strategies for achieving metal–nitrogen–carbon (M–N–C) single-atom catalysts (SACs) with different microenvironments for electrochemical carbon dioxide reduction reaction (CO 2 RR), the synthesis–structure–performance correlation remains elusive due to the lack of well-controlled synthetic approaches. Here, we employed Ni nanoparticles as starting materials for the direct synthesis of nickel (Ni) SACs in one spot through harvesting the interaction between metallic Ni and N atoms in the precursor during the chemical vapor deposition growth of hierarchical N-doped graphene fibers. By combining with first-principle calculations, we found that the Ni-N configuration is closely correlated to the N contents in the precursor, in which the acetonitrile with a high N/C ratio favors the formation of Ni-N 3 , while the pyridine with a low N/C ratio is more likely to promote the evolution of Ni-N 2 . Moreover, we revealed that the presence of N favors the formation of H-terminated edge of sp 2 carbon and consequently leads to the formation of graphene fibers consisting of vertically stacked graphene flakes, instead of the traditional growth of carbon nanotubes on Ni nanoparticles. With a high capability in balancing the *COOH formation and *CO desorption, the as-prepared hierarchical N-doped graphene nanofibers with Ni-N 3 sites exhibit a superior CO 2 RR performance compared to that with Ni-N 2 and Ni-N 4 ones.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1949870 2016192
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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