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Title: Gold-doped graphene: A highly stable and active electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction

In addressing the growing need of renewable and sustainable energy resources, hydrogen-fuel-cells stand as one of the most promising routes to transform the current energy paradigm into one that integrally fulfills environmental sustainability. Nevertheless, accomplishing this technology at a large scale demands to surpass the efficiency and enhance the cost-effectiveness of platinum-based cathodes, which catalyze the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). In this work, our first-principles calculations show that Au atoms incorporated into graphene di-vacancies form a highly stable and cost-effective electrocatalyst that is, at the same time, as or more (dependently of the dopant concentration) active toward ORR than the best-known Pt-based electrocatalysts. We reveal that partial passivation of defected-graphene by gold atoms reduces the reactivity of C dangling bonds and increases that of Au, thus optimizing them for catalyzing the ORR and yielding a system of high thermodynamic and electrochemical stabilities. We also demonstrate that the linear relation among the binding energies of the reaction intermediates assumed in computational high-throughput material screening does not hold, at least for this non-purely transition-metal material. We expect Au-doped graphene to finally overcome the cathode-related challenge hindering the realization of hydrogen-fuel cells as the leading means of powering transportation and portable devices.
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Department of Physics, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida 32816-2385 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22415685
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Chemical Physics; Journal Volume: 142; Journal Issue: 15; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; ATOMS; BINDING ENERGY; CONCENTRATION RATIO; DOPED MATERIALS; ELECTROCATALYSTS; ELECTROCHEMISTRY; GOLD; GRAPHENE; HYDROGEN FUEL CELLS; OXYGEN; PASSIVATION; PLATINUM; REACTION INTERMEDIATES; REACTIVITY; VACANCIES