As a promising hydrogen-storage material, graphene is expected to have a theoretical capacity of 7.7 wt%, which means a carbon-hydrogen atomic ratio of 1:1. However, it hasn’t been demonstrated yet by experiment, and the aim of the U.S. Department of Energy is to achieve 5.5 wt% in 2025. We designed a spatially-confined electrochemical system and found the storage capacity of hydrogen adatoms on single layer graphene (SLG) is as high as 7.3 wt%, which indicates a carbon-hydrogen atomic ratio of 1:1 by considering the sp3 defects of SLG. First, SLG was deposited on a large-area polycrystalline platinum (Pt) foil by chemical vapor deposition (CVD); then, a micropipette with reference electrode, counter electrode and electrolyte solution inside was impacted on the SLG/Pt foil (the working electrode) to construct spatially-confined electrochemical system. The SLG-uncovered Pt atoms act as the catalytic sites to convert protons (H+) to hydrogen adatoms (Had), which then spill over and are chemically adsorbed on SLG through surface diffusion during the cathodic scan. Because the electrode processes are reversible, the Had amount can be measured by the anodic stripping charge. This is the first experimental evidence for the theoretically expected hydrogen-storage capacity on graphene at ambient environment, especially by using H+ rather than hydrogen gas (H2) as hydrogen source, which is of significance for the practical utilization of hydrogen energy.
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The financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21827802, 22021001), and the 111 Project (B08027, B17027) are appreciated.
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The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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He, Q., Zeng, L., Han, L. et al. Electrochemical hydrogen-storage capacity of graphene can achieve a carbon-hydrogen atomic ratio of 1:1. Sci. China Chem. 65, 318–321 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11426-021-1127-1