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Chemical Vapor Deposition for Atomically Dispersed and Nitrogen Coordinated Single Metal Site Catalysts...

Publication Type
Journal Name
Angewandte Chemie International Edition
Publication Date
Page Numbers
21698 to 21705

Atomically dispersed and nitrogen coordinated single metal sites (M‐N‐C, M=Fe, Co, Ni, Mn) are the popular platinum group‐metal (PGM)‐free catalysts for many electrochemical reactions. Traditional wet‐chemistry catalyst synthesis often requires complex procedures with unsatisfied reproducibility and scalability. Here, we report a facile chemical vapor deposition (CVD) strategy to synthesize the promising M‐N‐C catalysts. The deposition of gaseous 2‐methylimidazole onto M‐doped ZnO substrates, followed by an in situ thermal activation, effectively generated single metal sites well dispersed into porous carbon. In particular, an optimal CVD‐derived Fe‐N‐C catalyst exclusively contains atomically dispersed FeN4 sites with increased Fe loading relative to other catalysts from wet‐chemistry synthesis. The catalyst exhibited outstanding oxygen‐reduction activity in acidic electrolytes, which was further studied in proton‐exchange membrane fuel cells with encouraging performance.