Synthesizing high-activity metal/heteroatom-co-doped carbon (M/H-C) electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) is critical for the commercialization of fuel cells, but remains challenging because of the difficulty in making highly dispersed (M/H-C) electrocatalysts. Herein, a commercial ion-exchange resin, Amberlyst 15, is used as a support, and Co/2-methylimidazole is anchored on the ion-exchange site of the support to obtain Co/N/Amb as the precursor of the M/H-C electrocatalyst. After the precursor is pyrolyzed and converted into Co/N/C materials, it is activated with CO 2 , and the obtained material (act-Co/N/C) exhibits remarkable ORR activity with a high onset potential of 0.943 V (vs. the reversible hydrogen electrode) and an excellent kinetic current density comparable to commercial 5 wt% Pt/C in an alkaline medium. The favorable activity is mainly attributed to the ultra-dispersed CoN x and high porosity of act-Co/N/C. Our synthetic strategy could be applied to the preparation of other well-dispersed M/H-C materials. This work opens a new direction in the synthetic strategy of carbon materials.
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