Model Non-Precious Metal Catalysts for Oxygen Reduction Reaction: A Bottom-up Approach
Recently, we have reported a novel approach for the incorporation of nitrogen heteroatoms into the graphitic carbon structure of liquid-phase exfoliated graphite (3). This approach utilizes high-flux energetic neutral atom beam technology (ENABLE) to incorporate nitrogen heteroatoms via direct chemical activation overcoming thermal activation barriers. Our preliminary results have identified a relationship between the type of nitrogen species doped and the substrate temperature (Figure 1). However, although improved onset potential for the ORR was observed from thin films doped with 13 at.% nitrogen (87% graphitic), the electrocatalytic activity in acid electrolyte is still poor. The work to be presented in this talk represents the continuation of our efforts to understand the role of each component in NPMCs, this time with the addition of transition metals, Fe and/or Co, prior to nitrogen doping. Electrochemical studies will be performed in both acid and alkaline electrolytes to better understand the different reaction mechanism in both environments.
1. G. Wu, K. L. More, C. M. Johnston and P. Zelenay, Science (New York, N.Y.), 332, 443 (2011).
2. E. Proietti, F. Jaouen, M. Lefèvre, N. Larouche, J. Tian, J. Herranz and J.-P. Dodelet, Nature Communications, 2, 416 (2011).