The polymerized complex (PC) method was used to synthesize highly dispersed iron-based catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). The catalysts were prepared with an addition of 1,10-phenanthroline (Phen) and transition metals (M), such as Ta, Ti, and W, in an attempt to enhance the ORR activity and durability of the catalysts. The composition and properties of the catalysts were characterized by thermogravimetric analysis, X-ray diffraction, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The catalyst components, after extensive dissolution in a strong acid solution, were characterized by inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy and ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy. It was found that the Ti-Fe catalyst showed improved ORR performance, and the Ta-Fe catalyst showed enhanced stability towards ORR in acidic solution. The catalytic activity and stability for ORR was observed by adding Ti or Ta into the catalyst formulation, suggesting that the interaction between added hetero-ions (Ti and Ta) and ionic Fe active sites was beneficial for the ORR. A single-cell test with the synthesized catalyst in the cathode initially generated a high power density, but the low stability remains an issue to be solved.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry