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Precious Metal-Free Nickel Nitride Catalyst for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction.

Kreider, Melissa E and Gallo, Alessandro and Back, Seoin and Liu, Yunzhi and Siahrostami, Samira and Nordlund, Dennis and Sinclair, Robert and Nørskov, Jens K and King, Laurie A and Jaramillo, Thomas F (2019) Precious Metal-Free Nickel Nitride Catalyst for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction. ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 11 (30). pp. 26863-26871. ISSN 1944-8244

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Abstract

With promising activity and stability for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), transition metal nitrides are an interesting class of non-platinum group catalysts for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. Here, we report an active thin-film nickel nitride catalyst synthesized through a reactive sputtering method. In rotating disk electrode testing in a 0.1 M HClO4 electrolyte, the crystalline nickel nitride film achieved high activity and selectivity to four-electron ORR. It also exhibited good stability during 10 and 40 h chronoamperometry measurements in acid and alkaline electrolyte, respectively. A combined experiment-theory approach, with detailed ex situ materials characterization and density functional theory calculations, provides insight into the structure of the catalyst and its surface during catalysis. Design strategies for activity and stability improvement through alloying and nanostructuring are discussed.

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