Biologically Inspired Highly Durable Iron Phthalocyanine Catalysts for Oxygen Reduction Reaction in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells
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In the present work, we have designed and synthesized a new highly durable iron phtalocyanine based nonprecious oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalyst (Fe-SPc) for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). The Fe-SPc, with a novel structure inspired by that of naturally occurring oxygen activation catalysts, is prepared by a nonpyrolyzing method, allowing adequate control of the atomic structure and surface properties of the material. Significantly improved ORR stability of the Fe-SPc is observed compared with the commercial Fe-Pc catalysts. The Fe-SPc has similar activity to that of the commercial Fe-Pc initially, while the Fe-SPc displays 4.6 times higher current density than that of the commercial Fe-Pc after 10 sweep potential cycles, and a current density that is 7.4 times higher after 100 cycles. This has been attributed to the incorporation of electron-donating functional groups, along with a high degree of steric hindrance maintaining active site isolation. Nonprecious Fe-SPc is promising as a potential alternative ORR electrocatalyst for PEMFCs.
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