Rational design of highly efficient metal-polyaniline/carbon cloth catalyst towards enhanced oxygen reduction reaction


The key to sustainable energy application is the rational utilization of abundant materials on the earth. Fe, Co, and Cu theoretically exhibit high oxygen reduction capability close to Pt. However, their high diffusion behaviors make it difficult to homogeneously incorporate with carbon at elevated fabrication temperature. Here, polyaniline is developed an incorporated frame to realize the homodisperse of Fe, Co, or Cu. Three efficient oxygen reduction catalysts, including Fe-polyaniline/carbon (Fe-N/C), Co-N/C, and Cu-N/C are synthesized by a three-step method combining polymerization, complexation, and pyrolysis. All catalysts with metal doping reveal high catalytic activity, good cyclic stability, and the activity varies with different doping metal. The Fe-doped catalyst exhibits the best oxygen reduction ability with onset and half-wave potentials of − 104 mV and − 199.5 mV. Furthermore, the influence of complexation time and the pyrolysis temperature on the oxygen reduction activity are also studied systematically. These interesting discoveries may contribute to provide important ideas to oxygen reduction catalysts.

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This work is financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NO.21905249).

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Correspondence to Wenkui Zhang or Yang Xia.

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He, X., Ruan, S., Chen, Y. et al. Rational design of highly efficient metal-polyaniline/carbon cloth catalyst towards enhanced oxygen reduction reaction. Ionics (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11581-020-03666-7

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  • Metal-doping
  • Nanocomposite
  • Catalyst
  • Oxygen reduction reaction
  • Fuel cells