Carbon aerogels have been studied in the context of fuel cell electrodes mainly as catalyst support materials due to their high surface area, porosity, and electrical conductivity. Recently, aerogels composed solely of inorganic molecular complexes have shown to be promising materials for the electrocatalysis of oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). These aerogels consist of atomically dispersed catalytic sites. Herein, we report on the synthesis and characterization of an aerogel-based catalyst: iron phthalocyanine aerogel. It was synthesized by coupling of ethynyl-terminated phthalocyanine monomers and then heat-treated at 800 °C to increase its electrical conductivity and catalytic activity. The aerogels reported here were tested as catalysts for ORR in acidic conditions for the first time and found to have a ultra-high number of atomically dispersed catalytic sites (7.11 × 1020sites g-1) and very good catalytic activity (Eonset= 0.9 V vs RHE and TOF = 9.2 × 10-3e-s-1site-1at 0.8 V vs RHE). The iron phthalocyanine aerogel was also studied in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell, reaching a peak power density of 292 mW cm-2and an open circuit voltage of 0.83 V.
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- fuel cell