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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

146 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)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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