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Winged Nanotubes Show Promise in Electrocatalysis

The Liu group recently published their new finding of "winged nanotubes" in Scientific Reports, the newest member of the Nature family. The new types of nanotube, composed of a nanotube core and graphene wings, combine the advantages of nanotube and graphene while overcoming the limitations of the individual components, as discussed in detail in the paper. These new structures were shown to exhibit outstanding activity toward catalyzing the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), with excellent stability and methanol/carbon monoxide tolerance. The graphene wings provided high active site density to bring remarkable catalytic activity, while the nanotube cores remain mechanically strong and electrically conductive to facilitate electron transport during electrocatalysis.