Facile Synthesis of Manganese-Oxide-Containing Mesoporous Nitrogen-Doped Carbon for Efficient Oxygen Reduction

Authors

  • Yueming Tan,

    1. State Key Laboratory for Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces and Department of Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China
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  • Chaofa Xu,

    1. State Key Laboratory for Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces and Department of Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China
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  • Guangxu Chen,

    1. State Key Laboratory for Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces and Department of Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China
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  • Xiaoliang Fang,

    1. State Key Laboratory for Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces and Department of Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China
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  • Nanfeng Zheng,

    Corresponding author
    1. State Key Laboratory for Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces and Department of Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China
    • State Key Laboratory for Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces and Department of Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China.
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  • Qingji Xie

    1. Key Laboratory of Chemical Biology and Traditional, Chinese Medicine Research (Ministry of Education of China), College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Hunan Normal University, Changsha 410081, China
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Abstract

Developing low-cost non-precious metal catalysts for high-performance oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) is highly desirable. Here a facile, in situ template synthesis of a MnO-containing mesoporous nitrogen-doped carbon (m-N-C) nanocomposite and its high electrocatalytic activity for a four-electron ORR in alkaline solution are reported. The synthesis of the MnO-m-N-C nanocomposite involves one-pot hydrothermal synthesis of Mn3O4@polyaniline core/shell nanoparticles from a mixture containing aniline, Mn(NO3)2, and KMnO4, followed by heat treatment to produce N-doped ultrathin graphitic carbon coated MnO hybrids and partial acid leaching of MnO. The as-prepared MnO-m-N-C composite catalyst exhibits high electrocatalytic activity and dominant four-electron oxygen reduction pathway in 0.1 M KOH aqueous solution due to the synergetic effect between MnO and m-N-C. The pristine MnO shows little electrocatalytic activity and m-N-C alone exhibits a dominant two-electron process for ORR. The MnO-m-N-C composite catalyst also exhibits superior stability and methanol tolerance to a commercial Pt/C catalyst, making the composite a promising cathode catalyst for alkaline methanol fuel cell applications. The synergetic effect between MnO and N-doped carbon described provides a new route to design advanced catalysts for energy conversion.

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