Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2011, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (02): 443-448.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB20110225

• ELECTROCHEMISTRY AND NEW ENERGY • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Synthesis and Electrochemical Performance of Nitrogen-Doped Carbon Nanotubes

LI Li-Xiang, LIU Yong-Chang, GENG Xin, AN Bai-Gang   

  1. Institute for Materials Electrochemistry Process Research, School of Chemical Engineering, University of Science and Technology Liaoning, Anshan 114051, China
  • Received:2010-09-03 Revised:2010-12-02 Published:2011-01-25
  • Contact: LI Li-Xiang
  • Supported by:

    The project was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Liaoning Province, China (20061078) and Education Department Foundation of Liaoning Province, China (L2010197).


We treated carbon nanotubes (CNTs) with hydrazine hydrate and diethylenetriamine separately and characterized them using scanning electron spectroscopy (SEM) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). SEM indicated that the treated CNTs retained the length/diameter ratio of the pure CNTs and XPS showed that nitrogen was doped in the CNTs. XPS analysis also indicated that the carbon/nitrogen atomic ratio of the CNTs treated by hydrazine hydrate was 95/2, which was much higher than the 96/0.5 for the CNTs treated by diethylenetriamine. The hydrophilicity of the CNTs was found to be much higher after N-doping and it increased with an increase in the N content. Therefore, the water dispersibility of the N-doped CNTs treated by hydrazine hydrate was better than that of the N-doped CNTs treated by diethylenetriamine. As electrode materials for electrochemical capacitors, nitrogen functional groups contribute to the pseudo-Faradic capacitance but their cyclic performance still needs to be improved. Because of the good hydrophilicity of the N-doping CNTs, which improves the wettability of the CNTs for the electrolyte, the specific capacitance of the N-doping CNT electrode is still slightly higher than that of the pure CNT electrode after cycling.

Key words: Carbon nanotubes, N-doping, Hydrazine hydrate, Diethylenetriamine, Electrochemistry