Metal-free nitrogen-doped carbon foam electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction in acid solution

J. Liu, S. Yu, T. Daio, M. S. Ismail, K. Sasaki, S. M. Lyth

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12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Metal-free, nitrogen-doped carbon foam is utilized as a model non-precious electrocatalyst system to investigate the role of nitrogen in the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in the absence of iron contamination. This graphene-like foam displays relatively high activity for the ORR in acid, despite being proven free from transition-metal impurities. The onset potential is 0.85 VRHE, the mass activity is 2.8 A/g at 0.6 VRHE, and the current density is -4.0 mA/cm2. The maximum electron transfer number is calculated to be 3.6, revealing that a 4-electron pathway is possible in nitrogen-doped carbon, even in the absence of transition-metal coordination sites. The excellent electrochemical activity is attributed to the large surface area (700 m2/g), improved conductivity after graphitization, and the relatively high proportion of tertiary (graphite-like) nitrogen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)F1049-F1054
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Volume163
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrochemistry
  • Materials Chemistry

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