New insights into the structure of nanoporous carbons from NMR, Raman, and pair distribution function analysis

Forse, Alexander C. and Merlet, Celine and Allan, Phoebe K. and Humphreys, Elizabeth K. and Griffin, John M. and Aslan, Mesut and Zeiger, Marco and Presser, Volker and Gogotsi, Yury and Grey, Clare P. (2015) New insights into the structure of nanoporous carbons from NMR, Raman, and pair distribution function analysis. Chemistry of Materials, 27 (19). pp. 6848-6857. ISSN 0897-4756

PDF (AuthorFinal)
AuthorFinal.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial.

Download (2MB)


The structural characterization of nanoporous carbons is a challenging task as they generally lack long-range order and can exhibit diverse local structures. Such characterization represents an important step toward understanding and improving the properties and functionality of porous carbons, yet few experimental techniques have been developed for this purpose. Here we demonstrate the application of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and pair distribution function (PDF) analysis as new tools to probe the local structures of porous carbons, alongside more conventional Raman spectroscopy. Together, the PDFs and the Raman spectra allow the local chemical bonding to be probed, with the bonding becoming more ordered for carbide-derived carbons (CDCs) synthesized at higher temperatures. The ring currents induced in the NMR experiment (and thus the observed NMR chemical shifts adsorbed species) are strongly dependent on the size of the aromatic carbon domains. We exploit this property and use computer simulations to show that the carbon domain size increases with the temperature used in the carbon synthesis. The techniques developed here are applicable to a wide range of porous carbons and offer new insights into the structures of CDCs (conventional and vacuum-annealed) and coconut shell-derived activated carbons.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Chemistry of Materials
Additional Information:
This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in Chemistry of Materials, copyright © 2015 American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see
Uncontrolled Keywords:
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
09 May 2016 11:10
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 02:34