Atomic cobalt on nitrogen-doped graphene for hydrogen generation

Huilong Fei, Juncai Dong, M. Josefina Arellano-Jiménez, Gonglan Ye, Nam Dong Kim, Errol L.G. Samuel, Zhiwei Peng, Zhuan Zhu, Fan Qin, Jiming Bao, Miguel Jose Yacaman, Pulickel M. Ajayan, Dongliang Chen, James M. Tour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1379 Scopus citations


Reduction of water to hydrogen through electrocatalysis holds great promise for clean energy, but its large-scale application relies on the development of inexpensive and efficient catalysts to replace precious platinum catalysts. Here we report an electrocatalyst for hydrogen generation based on very small amounts of cobalt dispersed as individual atoms on nitrogen-doped graphene. This catalyst is robust and highly active in aqueous media with very low overpotentials (30 V). A variety of analytical techniques and electrochemical measurements suggest that the catalytically active sites are associated with the metal centres coordinated to nitrogen. This unusual atomic constitution of supported metals is suggestive of a new approach to preparing extremely efficient single-atom catalysts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8668
JournalNature Communications
StatePublished - Oct 21 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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