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Catalysts 2015, 5(3), 1333-1351; doi:10.3390/catal5031333

Effect of ZIF-8 Crystal Size on the O2 Electro-Reduction Performance of Pyrolyzed Fe–N–C Catalysts

Institut Charles Gerhardt Montpellier UMR 5253, CNRS, Université de Montpellier, 34095 Montpellier Cedex 5, France
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Academic Editor: Minhua Shao
Received: 26 June 2015 / Revised: 16 July 2015 / Accepted: 17 July 2015 / Published: 24 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrocatalysis in Fuel Cells)
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Abstract

The effect of ZIF-8 crystal size on the morphology and performance of Fe–N–C catalysts synthesized via the pyrolysis of a ferrous salt, phenanthroline and the metal-organic framework ZIF-8 is investigated in detail. Various ZIF-8 samples with average crystal size ranging from 100 to 1600 nm were prepared. The process parameters allowing a templating effect after argon pyrolysis were investigated. It is shown that the milling speed, used to prepare catalyst precursors, and the heating mode, used for pyrolysis, are critical factors for templating nano-ZIFs into nano-sized Fe–N–C particles with open porosity. Templating could be achieved when combining a reduced milling speed with a ramped heating mode. For templated Fe–N–C materials, the performance and activity improved with decreased ZIF-8 crystal size. With the Fe–N–C catalyst templated from the smallest ZIF-8 crystals, the current densities in H2/O2 polymer electrolyte fuel cell at 0.5 V reached ca. 900 mA cm2, compared to only ca. 450 mA cm2 with our previous approach. This templating process opens the path to a morphological control of Fe–N–C catalysts derived from metal-organic frameworks which, when combined with the versatility of the coordination chemistry of such materials, offers a platform for the rational design of optimized Metal–N–C catalysts. View Full-Text
Keywords: metal organic framework; electrocatalysis; fuel cell; oxygen reduction; non precious metal; templating metal organic framework; electrocatalysis; fuel cell; oxygen reduction; non precious metal; templating
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Armel, V.; Hannauer, J.; Jaouen, F. Effect of ZIF-8 Crystal Size on the O2 Electro-Reduction Performance of Pyrolyzed Fe–N–C Catalysts. Catalysts 2015, 5, 1333-1351.

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