Fe@C2N: A highly-efficient indirect-contact oxygen reduction catalyst

Javeed Mahmood, Feng Li, Changmin Kim, Hyun Jung Choi, Ohhun Gwon, Sun Min Jung, Jeong Min Seo, Sung June Cho, Young Wan Ju, Hu Young Jeong, Guntae Kim, Jong Beom Baek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


Converting unstable earth-abundant group VIIIB transition metals into stable catalysts with high oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) performances remains a critical challenge for electrochemical technologies. Iron (Fe)-nitrogen (N)-carbon (C)-based electrocatalysts have recently demonstrated ORR performances comparable to platinum (Pt)-based catalysts. However, as their poor stability remains a critical issue, which needs to be resolved to satisfy commercial requirements. Here, we describe a methodology for preparing a high-performance and stable Fe-based ORR catalyst. The catalyst was obtained by the in-situ sandwiching of a Fe3+ precursor in a nitrogenated holey two-dimensional network (denoted as C2N). Reduction of the sandwiched Fe3+ results in the formation of Fe oxide (FexOy) nanoparticles, which are simultaneously transformed into highly crystalline Fe0 nanoparticle cores, while the C2N is catalysed into well-defined, encapsulating, nitrogenated graphitic shells (Fe@C2N nanoparticles) during heat-treatment. The resultant Fe0@C2N nanoparticles are uniformly distributed on the C2N substrate, becoming the Fe@C2N catalyst, which displayed ORR activities superior to commercial Pt/C in both acidic and alkaline media. Furthermore, the Fe@C2N catalyst remained rust-free during harsh electrochemical testing even after 650 h, suggesting that its unusual durability originates from indirect-contact electrocatalysis.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)304-310
Number of pages7
JournalNano Energy
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Materials Science
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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