Metal oxide (Co3O4 and Mn3O4) impregnation into S, N-doped graphene for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR)
Fernandes, Diana M.
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To address aggravating environmental and energy problems, active, efficient, low-cost, and robust electrocatalysts (ECs) are actively pursued as substitutes for the current noble metal ECs. Therefore, in this study, we report the preparation of graphene flakes (GF) doped with S and N using 2-5-dimercapto-1,3,4-thiadiazole (S3N2) as precursor followed by the immobilization of cobalt spinel oxide (Co3O4) or manganese spinel oxide (Mn3O4) nanoparticles through a one-step co-precipitation procedure (Co/S3N2-GF and Mn/S3N2-GF). Characterization by different physicochemical techniques (Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR), Raman spectroscopy, Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and X-ray Diffraction (XRD) of both composites shows the preservation of the metal oxide spinel structure and further confirms the successful preparation of the envisaged electrocatalysts. Co/S3N2-GF composite exhibits the best ORR performance with an onset potential of 0.91 V vs. RHE, a diffusion-limiting current density of-4.50 mA cm-2 and selectivity for the direct four-electron pathway, matching the results obtained for commercial Pt/C. Moreover, both Co/S3N2-GF and Mn/S3N2-GF showed excellent tolerance to methanol poisoning and good stability.