A highly efficient transition metal nitride-based electrocatalyst for oxygen reduction reaction: TiN on a CNT-graphene hybrid support
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- A highly efficient transition metal nitride-based electrocatalyst for oxygen reduction reaction: TiN on a CNT-graphene hybrid support
- Youn, Duck Hyun; Bae, Ganghong; Han, Suenghoon; Kim, Jae Young; Jang, Ji-Wook; Park, Hunmin; Choi, Sun Hee; Lee, Jae Sung
- Electrocatalyst for oxygen reduction reactions; Electrochemical stabilities; Methanol tolerance; Nanostructured carbons; ORR electrocatalysts; Oxygen reduction reaction; Small particle size; Transition metal nitrides
- Issue Date
- ROYAL SOC CHEMISTRY
- JOURNAL OF MATERIALS CHEMISTRY A, v.1, no.27, pp.8007 - 8015
- Transition metal nitrides of group 4-6 (Mo2N, W2N, NbN, Ta3N5, and TiN) were synthesized by the urea-glass route and screened for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) electrodes in PEMFCs. In terms of electrochemical stability and activity, TiN was selected as the most promising candidate as a catalyst for ORR. To further enhance the activity for ORR, TiN was modified with nanostructured carbon supports including CNTs, graphene (GR), and CNT-GR hybrid. The obtained nanocarbon-supported TiN catalysts exhibited small particle sizes of TiN (<7 nm) and a good TiN-support interaction with reduced aggregation and no free-standing TiN particles away from the supports compared to bare TiN. In particular, TiN supported on the CNT-GR hybrid (TiN/CNT-GR) showed greatly enhanced ORR activity than bare TiN and other supported TiN catalysts. It exhibited a high onset potential (0.83 V) and the highest current density among the reported nitride-based electrocatalysts. The enhancement was ascribed to a synergistic effect between TiN nanoparticles (NPs) and CNT-GR hybird support, roles of which were to provide active sites for ORR and a facile electron pathway to NPs, respectively. Besides, TiN/CNT-GR exhibited large mesopores that could allow easy access of the electrolyte due to the formation of a 3-D CNT-GR structure assembled between 2-D graphene and 1-D CNTs. Further, it showed an excellent methanol tolerance compared to the commercial Pt/C catalyst. Thus, our TiN/CNT-GR could be a promising ORR electrocatalyst for PEMFCs and DMFCs.
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