New publication – by Pavel and Szymon

Enhancement of the electrocatalytic activity for the oxygen reduction reaction of boron-doped reduced graphene oxide via ultrasonic treatment , published in International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 2022, 47, 5462-5473.


Commercial polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells have relied on scares Platinum to catalyse the kinetically sluggish oxygen reduction reaction occurring at their anodes. Over the last decade organic materials, frequently based on graphitic structures have been demonstrated as promising alternative electrocatalysts to the noble metals. Researchers typically utilize ultrasonic treatment as part of the synthesis procedure to achieve homogeneous dispersion of graphitic carbon prior to. Herein we investigate the implications of the structural and compositional changes induced by the ultrasonication treatment on boron-doped reduced graphene oxide for oxygen reduction reaction. It is shown that ultrasonication pre-treatment prior to the boron doping and reduction of graphene oxide via hydrothermal process step leads to the increase of both substitutional B and electrocatalytic surface area, with associated reduction of average pore size diameter, leading to a significant improvement in the oxygen reduction reaction performance, with respect to the non-ultrasonicated material. It is proposed that the higher degree of substitutional doping of boron is a result of formation of the additional epoxy functionalities on graphitic planes, which act as a doping site for boric acid.

Group Christmas Party 2021!

Great to catch up with all the group, including the new members, Jesus, Eneith and Stiven. Also with Paddy Cullen’s group, too! Yummy pizza and lots of fun with secret santa. Look forward to welcoming the rest of new members in January 2022!

Welcome Eneith!

Eneith has just joined our group to conduct the second year of her MSc as part of a joint programme between QMUL and CIMAV, Mexico. Welcome Eneith!

Welcome Jesus!

Jesus has just joined the group to perform his PhD on biodegradable electrospun materials with antibacterial applications. His research is funded by CONACyT, Mexican National Council of Science and Technology. Welcome Jesus! Looking forward to getting started with this exciting PhD project.

Welcome Stiven!

Welcome Stiven! Stiven will be doing a short stay in our group (Nov 2021 – Feb 2022) to work on bacterial nanocellulose for energy storage in collaboration with Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, in Colombia, where he conducts his degree. We hope this collaboration within the framework of a Newton Fund -British Council funding will lead to great results. Hope Stiven has time to enjoy London, too!

Sustainability Week at QMUL – October 2021

This week has been Sustainability Week at QMUL and we have organised lab tours to show students and staff how we process lignin, a biomass waste product from the paper industry into advanced materials for energy storage, in particular for redox flow batteries. Thanks all the could make it! You were very engaging. And thanks Gengyu and Michael for helping make this event happen!