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Enhancement of Fe-N-C carbon catalyst activity for the oxygen reduction reaction; Effective increment of active sites by a short and repeated heating process

Yasuda, Satoshi  ; Uchibori, Yosuke*; Wakeshima, Makoto*; Hinatsu, Yukio*; Ogawa, Hiroaki ; Yano, Masahiro  ; Asaoka, Hidehito 

We present a quantitative study on the effect of a newly obtained thermal history on the formation of Fe-N-C catalytic sites. A short and repeated heating process is employed as the new thermal history, where short heating (1 min) followed by quenching is applied to a sample with arbitrary repetition. Through electrochemical quantitative analysis, it is found that the new process effectively increases the Fe-N-C mass-based site density (MSD) to almost twice that achieved using a conventional continuous heating process, while the turn-over frequency (TOF) is independent of the process. Elemental analysis shows that the new process effectively suppresses the thermal desorption of Fe and N atoms during the initial formation stage and consequently contributes to an increase in the Fe-N-C site density. The resultant catalytic activity (gravimetric kinetic current density (0.8 V vs. RHE)) is 1.8 times higher than that achieved with the continuous heating process.

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Category:Chemistry, Multidisciplinary

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