Mesoporous metal-nitrogen-doped carbon electrocatalysts for highly efficient oxygen reduction reaction

Hai-Wei Liang, Wei Wei, Zhong-Shuai Wu, Xinliang Feng, Klaus Müllen
Journal of the American Chemical Society 2013 October 30, 135 (43): 16002-5
A family of mesoporous nonprecious metal (NPM) catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in acidic media, including cobalt-nitrogen-doped carbon (C-N-Co) and iron-nitrogen-doped carbon (C-N-Fe), was prepared from vitamin B12 (VB12) and the polyaniline-Fe (PANI-Fe) complex, respectively. Silica nanoparticles, ordered mesoporous silica SBA-15, and montmorillonite were used as templates for achieving mesoporous structures. The most active mesoporous catalyst was fabricated from VB12 and silica nanoparticles and exhibited a remarkable ORR activity in acidic medium (half-wave potential of 0.79 V, only ∼58 mV deviation from Pt/C), high selectivity (electron-transfer number >3.95), and excellent electrochemical stability (only 9 mV negative shift of half-wave potential after 10,000 potential cycles). The unprecedented performance of these NPM catalysts in ORR was attributed to their well-defined porous structures with a narrow mesopore size distribution, high Brunauer-Emmett-Teller surface area (up to 572 m(2)/g), and homogeneous distribution of abundant metal-Nx active sites.

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