Sub-50 nm Iron–Nitrogen-Doped Hollow Carbon Sphere-Encapsulated Iron Carbide Nanoparticles as Efficient Oxygen Reduction Catalysts

Haibo Tan, Yunqi Li, Jeonghun Kim, Toshiaki Takei, Zhongli Wang, Xingtao Xu, Jie Wang, Yoshio Bando, Yong Mook Kang, Jing Tang, Yusuke Yamauchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

119 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sub-50 nm iron–nitrogen-doped hollow carbon sphere-encapsulated iron carbide nanoparticles (Fe3C-Fe,N/C) are synthesized by using a triblock copolymer of poly(styrene-b-2-vinylpyridine-b-ethylene oxide) as a soft template. Their typical features, including a large surface area (879.5 m2 g−1), small hollow size (≈16 nm), and nitrogen-doped mesoporous carbon shell, and encapsulated Fe3C nanoparticles generate a highly active oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) performance. Fe3C-Fe,N/C hollow spheres exhibit an ORR performance comparable to that of commercially available 20 wt% Pt/C in alkaline electrolyte, with a similar half-wave potential, an electron transfer number close to 4, and lower H2O2 yield of less than 5%. It also shows noticeable ORR catalytic activity under acidic conditions, with a high half-wave potential of 0.714 V, which is only 59 mV lower than that of 20 wt% Pt/C. Moreover, Fe3C-Fe,N/C has remarkable long-term durability and tolerance to methanol poisoning, exceeding Pt/C regardless of the electrolyte.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1800120
JournalAdvanced Science
Volume5
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jul
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • hollow carbon
  • iron carbide
  • nitrogen doping
  • oxygen reduction reaction
  • triblock copolymer templates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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