Nitrogen-doped carbons nanoballs were synthesized from an organic liquid precursor (a mixture of benzene and pyrazine) by solution plasma process. After synthesis, they were further annealed at 700 and 900 °C under N2 atmosphere. The nitrogen-doped carbon nanoballs before and after thermal annealing process exhibit a similar morphological feature, and their diameters are in the range between 20 and 40 nm. With higher annealing temperature, the graphitization of the nitrogen-doped carbon nanoballs increases. For the electrocatalytic activity in an alkaline solution, the limiting current density and onset potential for the ORR activity can be significantly improved for the samples after thermal annealing at 900 °C. We anticipate that solution plasma process will be a viable alternative way for synthesizing heteroatom-doped carbon electrocatalysts for broad application in the field of fuel cells, metal-air batteries, and supercapacitors.
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