Hybrid polymer matrix composite containing polyaniline and Nafion as novel precursor of the enhanced catalyst for oxygen reduction reaction†
A hybrid polymer matrix composite has been synthesized by in situ polymerization of aniline monomers into Nafion framework and characterized by X-ray diffraction and thermo-gravimetric analysis, which serves as a novel nitrogen precursor for metal–nitrogen-doped carbon catalyst. The electrostatic interaction between the amino groups of polyaniline and sulfonate groups of Nafion is found to be helpful for the promotion of thermal stability of the nitrogen precursor, which increases the nitrogen content of the catalyst. High specific surface area can be achieved via the decomposition and volatilization of Nafion in the pyrolysis procedure. The half-wave potential of the Nfn/PA/Fe-2 catalyst is 0.879 V, larger than that of the commercial Pt/C catalyst (E1/2 = 0.860 V). After 5000 cycles in alkaline media, the half-wave potential of Nfn/PA/Fe-2 decreases by 19 mV, which exhibits the excellent electrochemical durability and promising application in fields of metal–air batteries and alkaline fuel cells.