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Role of residual transition-metal atoms in oxygen reduction reaction in cobalt phthalocyanine-based carbon cathode catalysts for polymer electrolyte fuel cell

Kobayashi, Masaki*; Niwa, Hideharu*; Harada, Yoshihisa*; Horiba, Koji*; Oshima, Masaharu*; Ofuchi, Hironori*; Terakura, Kiyoyuki*; Ikeda, Takashi; Koshigoe, Yuka*; Ozaki, Junichi*; Miyata, Seizo*; Ueda, Shigenori*; Yamashita, Yoshiyuki*; Yoshikawa, Hideki*; Kobayashi, Keisuke*

The electronic structure of Co atoms in CoPc-based carbon catalysts, which were prepared by pyrolyzing a mixture of CoPc and phenol resin polymer up to 1000$$^circ$$C, has been investigated using XAFS analysis and HXPES. The Co K XAFS spectra show that most of the Co atoms are in the metallic state and small quantities of oxidized Co components are present in the samples even after acid washing to remove Co atoms. Based on the difference in probing depth between XAFS and HXPES, it was found that after acid washing, the surface region with the aggregated Co clusters is primarily composed of metallic Co. Since the electrochemical properties remain almost unchanged even after the acid washing process, the residual metallic and oxidized Co atoms themselves will hardly contribute to the ORR activity of the CoPc-based carbon cathode catalysts, implying that the active sites of the CoPc-based catalysts primarily consist of light elements such as C and N.

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Category:Chemistry, Physical

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