Effects of pore structure in nitrogen functionalized mesoporous carbon on oxygen reduction reaction activity of platinum nanoparticles

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Nitrogen-doped mesoporous carbons (NMCs) with ordered to disordered pore structures were fabricated on SBA-15 modified with different concentrations of tetraethyl orthosilicate using pyrrole as a carbon source. The carbonization temperature of NMCs was maintained at 800 °C so that the amount and type of nitrogen functionalities were constant. Pt nanoparticles (NPs) were deposited onto NMCs using a modified polyol process. N2adsorption isotherms, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy were used to characterize NMCs and Pt NPs. A significant shift in binding energy was found in Pt NPs deposited on NMC with disordered pore structure compared to Pt NPs deposited on NMC with ordered pore structure. Pt NPs deposited on NMC with the disordered pore structure had the highest intrinsic oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity among the Pt/NMC catalysts. It showed that the interaction between Pt NPs and NMCs could be modulated for enhancement of the ORR activity of Pt NPs by changing the pore structure of NMCs.