Self-supporting Oxygen Reduction Electrocatalysts Made From a Nitrogen-Rich Network Polymer

J Am Chem Soc. 2012 Dec 5;134(48):19528-31. doi: 10.1021/ja3085934. Epub 2012 Nov 19.


We report the design, synthesis, and evaluation of a new type of non-precious-metal catalyst made from network polymers. 2,6-Diaminopyridine was selected as a building-block monomer for the formation of a nitrogen-rich network polymer that forms self-supporting spherical backbone structures and contains a high density of metal-coordination sites. A Co-/Fe-coordinating pyrolyzed polymer exhibited a high specific oxygen reduction activity with onset and half-wave potentials of 0.87 and 0.76 V vs RHE, respectively, in neutral media. There was no crossover effect of organics on its activity. The power output of a microbial fuel cell equipped with this catalyst on its cathode was more than double the output with a commercial 20 wt % Pt/C catalyst.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Catalysis
  • Coordination Complexes / chemical synthesis
  • Coordination Complexes / chemistry
  • Electrochemistry
  • Electrodes
  • Models, Molecular
  • Nitrogen / chemistry*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxygen / chemistry*
  • Polymers / chemical synthesis
  • Polymers / chemistry*
  • Pyridines / chemistry
  • Pyrroles / chemistry


  • Coordination Complexes
  • Polymers
  • Pyridines
  • Pyrroles
  • 2,6-diaminopyridine
  • Nitrogen
  • Oxygen