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Polymers 2018, 10(9), 1002; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10091002

Conducting Copper(I/II)-Metallopolymer for the Electrocatalytic Oxygen Reduction Reaction (ORR) with High Kinetic Current Density

1
Institute for Nanoscale Science & Technology, Flinders University, Bedford Park SA 5042, Australia
2
Future Industries Institute, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes SA 5095, Australia
3
School of Chemical and Physical Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington 6420, New Zealand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 August 2018 / Revised: 3 September 2018 / Accepted: 6 September 2018 / Published: 7 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metallopolymer, supramolecular chemistry and materials)
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Abstract

The oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) is still the most research-intensive aspect of a fuel cell. The sluggish kinetics of the electrocatalysts toward the ORR requires large amounts of platinum to be used as cathode material, which calls for alternatives to replace or minimize the amount of the noble metals used. This study describes the synthesis and complete characterization of a copper metallopolymer (Cu MP) based on a conducting polymer (CP) and single-site catalytic centers for the electrocatalytic ORR. The copper (II) catalyst, embedded in a redox-active and conducting polymeric environment, was pursued as a potential candidate to replace noble metals in fuel cell applications. Performance studies at a rotating disk electrode (RDE) showed that the metallopolymer exhibited a direct four-electron reduction at potentials between −150 and −350 mV vs. the reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE) and high kinetic current densities of over 22.62 mA/cm2. The kinetic current densities obtained at the Cu MP electrode outperformed most of the reported state-of-the art electrocatalysts toward the ORR. Further analysis of the Cu/CP hybrid revealed the copper being largely reduced to the oxidation state +I. View Full-Text
Keywords: oxygen reduction reaction; ORR; electrocatalyst; copper; metallopolymer; hydroquinone; kinetic current density; fuel cells oxygen reduction reaction; ORR; electrocatalyst; copper; metallopolymer; hydroquinone; kinetic current density; fuel cells
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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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Elmas, S.; Beelders, W.; Pan, X.; Nann, T. Conducting Copper(I/II)-Metallopolymer for the Electrocatalytic Oxygen Reduction Reaction (ORR) with High Kinetic Current Density. Polymers 2018, 10, 1002.

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