High activity electrocatalysts from metal-organic framework-carbon nanotube templates for the oxygen reduction reaction
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Developing economical and commercially available materials to replace precious and nondurable platinum based catalysts is a very important issue in contemporary fuel cell technology. Nanostructured carbon materials have the potential to reduce the costs, improve the fuel tolerance and scalability; however, they are limited presently by their relatively low catalytic activity. Herein, we have synthesized a new electrocatalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction derived from in situ growth of metal-organic frameworks on carbon nanotubes, followed by pyrolysis. The most efficient catalyst yielded comparable catalytic activity than commercial platinum-based catalysts and a low Tafel slope of 49 mV dec-1. This excellent performance is attributable to the formation of 3D structured porous and N doped carbon/carbon nanotubular composites. High surface area and continuous catalytic layer on graphitic carbon boosts the active sites and reactivity during electrolysis.
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