Doping effect of boron and phosphorus on nitrogen-based mesoporous carbons as electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction reaction in acid media

Ulziidelger Byambasuren, Yukwon Jeon, Dorjgotov Altansukh, Yong Gun Shul

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Doped mesoporous carbons comprising nitrogen, boron, and phosphorus (N, B, and P, respectively) were prepared as non-Pt catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in an acidic solution. The N-doped carbons were varied to increase their catalytic activity through by additionally doping of B and P. All the mesoporous carbons were synthesized by carbonizing polyaniline at 900 °C for the N species, while the B and P species were inserted into the carbon structure at the carbon growth step. The linear sweep voltammogram recorded in the acidic solution showed that the ORR activity of the N-doped carbon catalysts increased significantly after the addition of B. An approximately 19 % increase in the pyridinic N content at the carbon surface was observed, along with B-N-C moieties with a binding energy of 399.5 eV. The non-precious metal ORR catalysts were prepared via pyrolysis, with the insertion of an additional transition metal (iron, Fe). The deconvoluted X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) results showed that the Fe-N peak was generated after the pyrolysis. The peak intensity of the quaternary N also increased compared with the pyridic and pyrrolic N, which indicates that Fe serves to catalyze the modification of N species. The numerical examinations showed that N- and B-doped mesoporous carbon (NBC) 1.5 % Fe had the highest limited current (4.94 mA/cm2), with the B-doped carbon still the most active mesoporous carbon catalyst for ORR. As a result, it can be said that Fe positively contributes to the formation of graphitic N, which is known to be an active site for ORR. The cyclic voltammetry results showed that the peak area of the NBC 1.5 % Fe catalyst was larger than that of the N-doped mesoporous carbon (NC) 1.5 % Fe catalyst. It was concluded that B doping enhances the ORR activity and the stability of carbon materials even after 1000 cycles under acidic conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)645-655
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Solid State Electrochemistry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Mar 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Technology innovation industrial Program funded by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and energy (MOTIE), Republic of Korea (No. 10052823) and by the New & Renewable Energy Core Technology Program of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) granted financial resource from the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy, Republic of Korea (No. 20133030011320).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrochemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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