Utilizing Zn as a "fencing"agent has enabled the pyrolytic synthesis of atomically dispersed metal-nitrogen-carbon (AD-MNC) materials for broad electrocatalysis such as fuel cells, metal-air batteries, and water electrolyzers. Yet the Zn residue troubles the precise identification of the responsible sites in active service. Herein we developed a simple aerosil-assisted method for preparing AD-MNC materials to cautiously avoid the introduction of Zn. The combined analysis of extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) and aberration-corrected high-resolution transition electron microscopy verified the atomic dispersion of Fe species in the as-made Fe-NC sample with a well-defined structure of Fe-N4. Besides, the EXAFS studies indicated the formation of oxygenated Fe-N4 moieties (O-Fe-N4) after the removal of aerosil nanoparticles. Therefore, the immobilization of Fe atoms in the carbon substrate was attributed to the heavily doping N and rich oxygen dangling species at the aerosil surface. Electrochemical measurements revealed that the as-made Fe-NC material furnished with O-Fe-N4 moieties exhibited excellent oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) performance, characterized by individually indicating ∼22 mV higher half-wave potentials, with respect to commercial Pt/C catalyst. Density functional theory (DFT) computations suggested that the dangling oxygen ligand on the Fe-N4 moiety could significantly boost the cleavage of OOH∗ and the reductive release of *OH intermediates, leading to the enhancement of overall ORR performance.

Assisting Atomic Dispersion of Fe in N-Doped Carbon by Aerosil for High-Efficiency Oxygen Reduction

Agnoli S.;
2020

Abstract

Utilizing Zn as a "fencing"agent has enabled the pyrolytic synthesis of atomically dispersed metal-nitrogen-carbon (AD-MNC) materials for broad electrocatalysis such as fuel cells, metal-air batteries, and water electrolyzers. Yet the Zn residue troubles the precise identification of the responsible sites in active service. Herein we developed a simple aerosil-assisted method for preparing AD-MNC materials to cautiously avoid the introduction of Zn. The combined analysis of extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) and aberration-corrected high-resolution transition electron microscopy verified the atomic dispersion of Fe species in the as-made Fe-NC sample with a well-defined structure of Fe-N4. Besides, the EXAFS studies indicated the formation of oxygenated Fe-N4 moieties (O-Fe-N4) after the removal of aerosil nanoparticles. Therefore, the immobilization of Fe atoms in the carbon substrate was attributed to the heavily doping N and rich oxygen dangling species at the aerosil surface. Electrochemical measurements revealed that the as-made Fe-NC material furnished with O-Fe-N4 moieties exhibited excellent oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) performance, characterized by individually indicating ∼22 mV higher half-wave potentials, with respect to commercial Pt/C catalyst. Density functional theory (DFT) computations suggested that the dangling oxygen ligand on the Fe-N4 moiety could significantly boost the cleavage of OOH∗ and the reductive release of *OH intermediates, leading to the enhancement of overall ORR performance.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3350897
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