Corresponding Author

Zhi-you ZHOU(zhouzy@xmu.edu.cn)


Oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) is a bottleneck for improving the efficiency of proton-exchange membrane fuel cells as a cathode reaction due to its sluggish kinetics. The exploitation of low cost and high performance non-precious metal catalysts such as Fe/N/C based materials toward ORR has attracted extensive attentions. In this work, the Fe, N-doped graphene nanosheets/carbon black composite was prepared by hydrothermal polymerization and followed by a twice-heat-treatment procedure using 2-aminoimidazole as an N precursor, FeCl3 as an Fe precursor and KJ600 carbon black as a support. The TEM images revealed that the graphene nanosheets were separated by carbon black nanoparticles to form a robust composite architecture. This composite structure can provide high surface area and porous structure, facilitating the exposure of active sites and the mass transfer of O2. The XRD patterns proved the existence of graphene nanosheets formed during the first heat treatment. The obtained AIZ-Fe/N/C catalyst exhibited high ORR activity and low H2O2 yield in an alkaline medium. Its methanol resistance was much better than that of commercial Pt/C catalyst. Furthermore, the ORR activity in an acid medium was also impressive. These results demonstrated that the AIZ-Fe/N/C catalyst is a promising candidate to replace Pt-based catalysts as a cathode catalyst in fuel cells.

Graphical Abstract


2-aminoimidazole, N-doped graphene, oxygen reduction reaction, graphene nanosheets/carbon black composite

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