Engineering dual defective graphenes to synergistically improve electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution

Yi long Wang, Guo qi Sun, Li hua Chen, Zuo kai Du, Xiao yun Li, Cui fang Ye, Jin ping Liu, Bao lian Su

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Herein, we have demonstrated the assembly of the N-doped defects and disordered structures into the typical sp2 carbon layers by nitrogen doping coupled to KOH etching at room temperature to achieve dual defective graphene-based materials (DDGMs) for excellent electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). In our protocol, etching at high concentration KOH solution does result in lots of the disordered structures on the N-doped graphene materials (NGMs). Furthermore, the N-doped defects can be remained to a great extent after etching rather than completely remove them from carbon layers, which for the first time paves a feasible approach to disorder engineering toward NGMs to realize DDGMs. More importantly, such DDGMs exhibit significantly enhanced HER activity over the single defective graphene-based materials, including the N-doped or the etched N-undoped samples. Our data further reveal that the excellent HER activity comes from rich active sites of DDGMs. That is, the N-doped defects and disordered structures on DDGMs, might supply more active sites so as to synergistically enhance HER activity of the graphene-based electrocatalysts. This work opens up a novel approach to improving electrocatalytic activity of such metal-free catalysts, and promises the important applications in fields of electrocatalysis or energy conversion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number150712
JournalApplied Surface Science
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Hydrogen evolution reaction
  • Metal-free electrocatalyst
  • Nitrogen heteroatoms
  • The disordered structures
  • Wet chemical etching


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