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Issue 25, 2013
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Polypyrrole-derived mesoporous nitrogen-doped carbons with intrinsic catalytic activity in the oxygen reduction reaction

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Abstract

N-doped mesoporous carbons containing small amounts of graphitic carbon have been successfully prepared using the nanocasting technique. Polypyrrole was used as N-dopant carbon precursor and SBA-15 or silica xerogel as templates. Graphitic carbon domains provide a good electronic conductivity of up to 0.33 S cm−1, a necessary property for electrochemical applications, while a mesoporous structure reduces mass transport limitations. These characteristics are further combined with a high N content (3.55–5.45 wt%). As a result, the as-prepared materials exhibit an enhanced intrinsic electrocatalytic activity towards the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). They exhibit an onset potential of ∼−90 to −70 mV vs. Ag/AgCl and a current density in the lower potential regime that exceeds that of a commercial platinum catalyst in a basic medium. Their behavior is superior to that of Vulcan XC72R carbon. Furthermore, unlike commercial Pt catalysts, they are unaffected by the methanol cross-over effect. It was found that the graphitic content must be well-balanced as, on the one hand, it enhances conductivity but, on the other hand, it selectively catalyses an unfavorable 2e process.

Graphical abstract: Polypyrrole-derived mesoporous nitrogen-doped carbons with intrinsic catalytic activity in the oxygen reduction reaction

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Publication details

The article was received on 07 Feb 2013, accepted on 15 Apr 2013 and first published on 16 Apr 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3RA41719K
Citation: RSC Adv., 2013,3, 9904-9910
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    Polypyrrole-derived mesoporous nitrogen-doped carbons with intrinsic catalytic activity in the oxygen reduction reaction

    M. Sevilla, L. Yu, T. P. Fellinger, A. B. Fuertes and M. Titirici, RSC Adv., 2013, 3, 9904
    DOI: 10.1039/C3RA41719K

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