Nitrogen-doped Carbon Nanofibers for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction: Importance of the Iron Growth Catalyst Phase

Marthe E.M. Buan, Navaneethan Muthuswamy, John C. Walmsley, De Chen, Magnus Rønning*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A systematic evaluation of the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) on nitrogen-doped carbon nanofibers (N-CNFs) has been performed by tuning the properties of the N-CNFs by using chemical vapor deposition. Analysis of the as-synthesized N-CNFs shows that the iron used as the growth catalyst consists of iron carbides, including Fe7C3, χ-Fe5C2, and θ-Fe3C, depending on the carbon activity of the synthesis feed. Furthermore, a relationship between the growth catalyst phase, the N-CNF properties, and the electrocatalytic activity for the oxygen reduction in acidic electrolyte is revealed. The best catalytic activity and selectivity was achieved if the N-CNFs were grown from Hägg carbide, χ-Fe5C2, suggesting that this carbide phase favors the incorporation of active sites into the N-CNFs. Controlling the phase of the iron particles used as growth catalysts is therefore essential for obtaining N-CNFs with a high active site density for the oxygen reduction reaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1663-1674
Number of pages12
JournalChemCatChem
Volume9
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • carbon nanofibers
  • chemical vapor deposition
  • nitrogen-doped carbon
  • oxygen reduction reaction

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