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Issue 53, 2017
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Mesoporous titanium and niobium nitrides as conductive and stable electrocatalyst supports in acid environments

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Abstract

The stability of carbon-based catalyst supports represents one of the biggest challenges for the commercialisation of proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Metal nitrides are an attractive alternative to carbon-based supports, owing to their high bulk conductivity and acid stability. We report the electrochemical stability evaluation of high-surface-area metal nitrides in acidic electrolytes. Three-dimensional mesoporous titanium (TiN) and niobium nitride (NbN) thin films were prepared using block copolymer self-assembly and were evaluated without using any conductive carbon additives or a carbon-based substrate. Both TiN and NbN are stable and maintain conductivity in acidic electrolytes up to at least 0.85 V (NbN) and 1.4 V (TiN) vs. reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE) after 2000 cycles. We also deposited platinum on the TiN films and demonstrate the expected cyclic voltammogram features, indicating the nitride's utility as a catalyst support.

Graphical abstract: Mesoporous titanium and niobium nitrides as conductive and stable electrocatalyst supports in acid environments

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Publication details

The article was received on 27 Apr 2017, accepted on 26 May 2017 and first published on 26 May 2017


Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C7CC03232C
Citation: Chem. Commun., 2017,53, 7250-7253
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    Mesoporous titanium and niobium nitrides as conductive and stable electrocatalyst supports in acid environments

    K. E. Fritz, P. A. Beaucage, F. Matsuoka, U. Wiesner and J. Suntivich, Chem. Commun., 2017, 53, 7250
    DOI: 10.1039/C7CC03232C

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