57Fe-Mössbauer spectroscopy and electrochemical activities of graphitic layer encapsulated iron electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction

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Graphitic layer encapsulated iron based nanoparticles (G@FeNPs) have recently been disclosed as an interesting type of highly active electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). However, the complex composition of the metal-containing components and their contributions in catalysis remain unclear. As a representative catalyst of the unique encapsulated structure, a series of G@FeNPs catalysts were prepared by a high-pressure pyrolytic process with uniform and essentially identical morphologies but varied compositions. The catalysts exhibited a high onset potential of 0.85 V at 0.1 mA cm-2 in acidic media. By 57Fe-Mössbauer spectroscopy the iron containing components were identified including α-Fe,γ-Fe, γ-Fe2O3, and Fe3C as well as a minor doublet component due to Fe3+ in high spin and/or Fe2+ in low spin state. The ORR activities are evaluated in terms of the mass specific kinetic current density found to be positively correlated with the Fe3C content in the range of study, indicating involvement of the encapsulated nanoparticles in the ORR catalysis. The recognition of the Fe compositions and active sites provides new insights to the confined Fe-based ORR electrocatalysts and therefore options for further development of non-precious metal materials.
Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Catalysis B: Environmental
Pages (from-to)406-412
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2018
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: No match on DOI

    Research areas

  • 57Fe-Mössbauer spectroscopy, Encapsulated Fe catalysts, Fuel cells, Oxygen reduction reaction

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