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Highly Effective Fe-N-C Electrocatalysts Toward Oxygen Reduction Reaction Originated From 2,6-diaminopyridine

Weixiang Yang, Shuihua Tang, Qiankuan Huang, Qian Zhang, Zhen Tang, Shuang Yang

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Abstract Fe-N-C electrocatalysts have been intensively studied due to their extraordinary catalytic activity toward oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). Here we prepare a Fe-N-C electrocatalyst through cost-effective and nontoxic precursors of 2,6-diaminopyridine (DAP) and FeCl3, where iron ions react with DAP to formed Fe-Nx species first, followed by polymerization and pyrolysis. X-ray diffraction patterns display no obvious Fe2O3 peaks observed in the catalyst as the nominal content of iron addition is less than 10 wt%. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy spectra indicate that the catalyst has rich pyridinic nitrogen, graphitic nitrogen and Fe-Nx species, which are considered as active sites for ORR. Therefore the catalyst demonstrates an excellent catalytic activity with an onset potential of about 0.96 V, half-wave potential of about 0.84 V, and a limiting current density of 5.8 mA cm-2, better than commercial Pt/C catalyst in an alkaline medium. Furthermore its stability is also much more excellent than that of Pt/C. This work provides a strategy to synthesize universal M-N-C catalysts.