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Indirect contribution of transition metal towards oxygen reduction reaction activity in iron phthalocyanine-based carbon catalysts for polymer electrolyte fuel cells

Kobayashi, Masaki*; Niwa, Hideharu*; Saito, Makoto*; Harada, Yoshihisa*; Oshima, Masaharu*; Ofuchi, Hironori*; Terakura, Kiyoyuki*; Ikeda, Takashi; Koshigoe, Yuka*; Ozaki, Junichi*; Miyata, Seizo*

The electronic structure of the residual metal atoms in FePc-based carbon catalysts, prepared by pyrolyzing a mixture of FePc and phenolic resin polymer at 800$$^{circ}$$C, before and after acid washing have been investigated using XAFS spectroscopy to clarify the role of Fe in the ORR activity. The decomposition analyses for the XAFS spectra reveal that the composition ratio of each Fe component is unaltered by the acid washing, indicating that the residual Fe components were removed by the acid washing irrespective of their chemical states. Because the oxygen reduction potential was approximately unchanged by the acid washing, the residual Fe itself does not seem to contribute directly to the ORR activity. The residual Fe can act as a catalyst to accelerate the growth of the sp$$^{2}$$ carbon network during pyrolysis. The results imply that light elements are components of the ORR active sites in the FePc-based carbon catalysts.

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Category:Electrochemistry

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