Manipulation of Hydrogen Binding Energy and Desorption Kinetics by Boron Doping of High Surface Area Carbon

Justin B. Bult, Justin Lee, Kevin O'Neill, Chaiwat Engtrakul, Katherine E. Hurst, Yufeng Zhao, Lin J. Simpson, Philip A. Parilla, Thomas Gennett, Jeffrey L. Blackburn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus Citations


Boron-doped high surface area carbon is shown to have unique chemical and structural properties that are advantageous for hydrogen storage. High surface area boron-doped carbon sorbents were produced by chemical vapor deposition of a boron-doped carbon (BCX) layer onto CM-Tec activated carbon. Photoelectron spectroscopy indicates the incorporation of boron at levels up to 14.3 at. % into sites with varying bonding environments. High-resolution microscopy characterization demonstrates that the turbostratic boron-carbon layer has a c-plane spacing of 4.02 ± 0.24 Å, large enough to allow the diffusion of hydrogen intercalated between BCX layers. Slower adsorption and desorption kinetics that depend sensitively on H2 charging duration and temperature suggest the presence of hidden surface area of the turbostratic BCX and enhanced binding energy sites. Our study suggests that the increased c-plane spacing, together with a significant concentration of electron-deficient sp2 boron sites, combine to create a stronger H2-sorbent interaction than is typically achieved for undoped carbon sorbents.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)26138-26143
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number50
StatePublished - 20 Dec 2012

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-57135


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