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Sci Rep. 2013;3:2715. doi: 10.1038/srep02715.

Ordered mesoporous porphyrinic carbons with very high electrocatalytic activity for the oxygen reduction reaction.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, School of Nano-Bioscience and Chemical Engineering, KIER-UNIST Advanced Center for Energy, and Low-Dimensional Carbon Materials Center, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), 50 UNIST-gil, Ulsan 689-798, Republic of Korea.

Abstract

The high cost of the platinum-based cathode catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) has impeded the widespread application of polymer electrolyte fuel cells. We report on a new family of non-precious metal catalysts based on ordered mesoporous porphyrinic carbons (M-OMPC; M = Fe, Co, or FeCo) with high surface areas and tunable pore structures, which were prepared by nanocasting mesoporous silica templates with metalloporphyrin precursors. The FeCo-OMPC catalyst exhibited an excellent ORR activity in an acidic medium, higher than other non-precious metal catalysts. It showed higher kinetic current at 0.9 V than Pt/C catalysts, as well as superior long-term durability and MeOH-tolerance. Density functional theory calculations in combination with extended X-ray absorption fine structure analysis revealed a weakening of the interaction between oxygen atom and FeCo-OMPC compared to Pt/C. This effect and high surface area of FeCo-OMPC appear responsible for its significantly high ORR activity.

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