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Probing carbon edge exposure of iron phthalocyanine-based oxygen reduction catalysts by soft X-ray absorption spectroscopy

Niwa, Hideharu*; Saito, Makoto*; Kobayashi, Masaki*; Harada, Yoshihisa*; Oshima, Masaharu*; Moriya, Shogo*; Matsubayashi, Katsuyuki*; Nabae, Yuta*; Kuroki, Shigeki*; Ikeda, Takashi; Terakura, Kiyoyuki*; Ozaki, Junichi*; Miyata, Seizo*

To design non-platinum, inexpensive, but high performance carbon-based cathode catalysts for polymer electrolyte fuel cells, it is important to elucidate the active site for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). However, it is difficult to directly identify the active site by applying conventional structural or electronic probes to such complex systems. Here, we used C 1${it s}$ X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) to observe electronic structure of carbon in iron phthalocyanine-based catalysts, and found a signature of edge exposure below the $$pi^{ast}$$ edge, whose intensity is well correlated with the ORR activity. These results demonstrate that C 1${it s}$ XAS can be used to characterize the ORR activity of carbon-based cathode catalysts in terms of the edge exposure.

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Category:Chemistry, Physical

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