nn6b07711_si_002.cif (21.19 kB)

Two-Dimensional Corrugated Porous Carbon‑, Nitrogen-Framework/Metal Heterojunction for Efficient Multielectron Transfer Processes with Controlled Kinetics

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posted on 30.01.2017, 00:00 by Ken Sakaushi, Andrey Lyalin, Satoshi Tominaka, Tetsuya Taketsugu, Kohei Uosaki
The material choice for efficient electrocatalysts is limited because it is necessary to be highly active as well as highly stable. One direction to solve this issue is to understand elementary steps of electrode processes and build an unconventional strategy for a conversion of inert and, therefore, stable materials into efficient catalysts. Herein, we propose a simple concept for obtaining catalysts from inert and hence stable materials by forming their heterojunctions, namely, covering inert Au with corrugated carbon–nitrogen-based two-dimensional porous frameworks. It shows more than 10 times better activity for the hydrogen evolution reaction than for the pure Au surface, and it also demonstrates the high catalytic activity for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) via an effective four-electron reduction mechanism, which is different from the usual two-electron reduction typical for ORR on Au surfaces. This activity induced by formation of a heterojunction was analyzed by a conjugation of computational and experimental methods and found to originate from alternative efficient reaction pathways that emerged by the corrugated porous framework and the Au surface. This work provides not only the method for creating active surface but also the knowledge on elementary steps of such complicated multielectron transfer reactions, thereby leading to intriguing strategies for developing energy conversion reactions based on materials which had never been considered as catalysts before.