A research team led by Prof. Yu Shuhong and Prof. Liang Haiwei from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) proposes a versatile, simple and effective method to prepare a series of functional carbon materials (CMs) from small organic molecules (SOMs) by a transition metal assisted carbonization process.
This work was published on the latest edition of Science Advances, a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary scientific journal established in America in 2015.
Small organic molecules (SOMs) as precursors for preparing CMs have some distinct advantages. Previous efforts on the transformation of SOMs into CMs almost relied on harsh synthesis conditions due to the high volatility of SOMs at evaluated temperatures.
To address this, the research group develops a method of transition metal assisted carbonization of SOMs. They have found that at least 15 SOMs and 9 transition metal salts (TMSs) can be employed as carbon precursors and catalysts respectively for preparing CMs.
The prepared CM exhibited 3 different microstructures: bamboo-like multi-walled carbon nanotube, micrometer-sized nanosheets and irregular particles.
As a result, the CM showed great application potentials for heterogeneous catalysis and electrocatalysis.