Metal coordination in C2N-like materials towards dual atom catalysts for oxygen reduction†
Single-atom catalysts, in particular the Fe–N–C family of materials, have emerged as a promising alternative to platinum group metals in fuel cells as catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction. Numerous theoretical studies have suggested that dual atom catalysts can appreciably accelerate catalytic reactions; nevertheless, the synthesis of these materials is highly challenging owing to metal atom clustering and aggregation into nanoparticles during high temperature synthesis treatment. In this work, dual metal atom catalysts are prepared by controlled post synthetic metal-coordination in a C2N-like material. The configuration of the active sites was confirmed by means of X-ray adsorption spectroscopy and scanning transmission electron microscopy. During oxygen reduction, the catalyst exhibited an activity of 2.4 ± 0.3 A gcarbon−1 at 0.8 V versus a reversible hydrogen electrode in acidic media, comparable to the most active in the literature. This work provides a novel approach for the targeted synthesis of catalysts containing dual metal sites in electrocatalysis.
- This article is part of the themed collections: Celebrating International Women’s Day: Women in Materials Science, Journal of Materials Chemistry A HOT Papers and Single-Atom Catalysis