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X-ray absorption analysis of nitrogen contribution to oxygen reduction reaction in carbon alloy cathode catalysts for polymer electrolyte fuel cells

Niwa, Hideharu*; Horiba, Koji*; Harada, Yoshihisa*; Oshima, Masaharu*; Ikeda, Takashi; Terakura, Kiyoyuki*; Ozaki, Junichi*; Miyata, Seizo*

The electronic structure of nitrogens introduced in various carbon-based cathode catalysts for a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) has been investigated using X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS). The profile of the $$pi^{ast}$$ peaks at the pre-edge of the N 1s XAS spectra is used to determine the chemical states of nitrogens, which can be a marker of the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity; it is found that catalysts that have relatively high amount of graphite-like nitrogen exhibit higher ORR activity than those having relatively high amount of pyridine-like nitrogen. We propose that effective doping of graphite-like nitrogen is a practical guideline for the synthesis of active carbon alloy catalysts.

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Category:Chemistry, Physical

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