Spectroscopic Investigation of Nitrogen-Functionalized Carbon Materials

Kevin N. Wood, Steven T. Christensen, Dennis Nordlund, Arrelaine A. Dameron, Chilan Ngo, Huyen Dinh, Thomas Gennett, Ryan O'Hayre, Svitlana Pylypenko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus Citations


Carbon materials are used in a diverse set of applications ranging from pharmaceuticals to catalysis. Nitrogen modification of carbon powders has shown to be an effective method for enhancing both surface and bulk properties of as-received material for a number of applications. Unfortunately, control of the nitrogen modification process is challenging and can limit the effectiveness and reproducibility of N-doped materials. Additionally, the assignment of functional groups to specific moieties on the surface of nitrogen-modified carbon materials is not straightforward. Herein, we complete an in-depth analysis of functional groups present at the surface of ion-implanted Vulcan and Graphitic Vulcan through the use of X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and near edge X-ray adsorption fine structure spectroscopy (NEXAFS). Our results show that regardless of the initial starting materials used, nitrogen ion implantation conditions can be tuned to increase the amount of nitrogen incorporation and to obtain both similar and reproducible final distributions of nitrogen functional groups. The development of a well-controlled/reproducible nitrogen implantation pathway opens the door for carbon supported catalyst architectures to have improved numbers of nucleation sites, decreased particle size, and enhanced catalyst-support interactions.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)283-292
Number of pages10
JournalSurface and Interface Analysis
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-66405


  • Carbon Support
  • catalysis
  • Nitrogen
  • Spectroscopy
  • XPS


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