Bimetal- and nitrogen-codoped spherical porous carbon with efficient catalytic performance towards oxygen reduction reaction in alkaline media.

Affiliation

Faculty of Chemistry, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024, China. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

Nonprecious-metal electrocatalysts have been intensively investigated, but how to keep a balance between their sustainability and competitive performance for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) is still a big challenge for energy applications. In this work, a type of bimetal- and nitrogen-codoped mesoporous carbon electrocatalyst (FeCo-N/C-800) was successfully synthesized via a simple hydrothermal method, followed by a calcination process at 800 °C in nitrogen atmosphere and an acid-etching process. The obtained FeCo-N/C-800 can act as a high-performance ORR catalyst with high onset and half-wave potentials (0.94 and 0.85 V), a large limiting current density (5.94 mA cm-2) and a four-electron reaction process in 0.1 M KOH solution, which can be comparable with commercial Pt/C catalyst. Additionally, the FeCo-N/C-800 exhibited superior long-term durability and high methanol tolerance. The excellent electrocatalytic performance of the FeCo-N/C-800 can be ascribed to the mesoporous structure (bimodal pores system), the synergetic interaction of the multiple ORR active sites, suitable N-doping level and the highly conductive carbon matrix. These structural features can promote efficiently the mass and electron transfer, provide abundant active sites for the adsorption and reaction of oxygen molecules, and thus improve the reaction kinetics. The present study not only provides a strategy for the synthesis of carbon-based electrocatalyst with high ORR catalytic activity and stability, but also demonstrates that the bimetal- and nitrogen-codoped carbon materials could be a class of competitive candidate for non-noble metal-based electrocatalysts.

Keywords

Catalyst,Electrocatalysis,FeCo-codoping,Nitrogen doping,Oxygen reduction reaction,Porous,