J. Antony, M. Sakthivel and J.-F. Drillet
ChemCatChem (2023) 15, e202201556 https://doi.org/10.1002/cctc.202201556
N-doped mesoporous carbon spheres were synthesized by a microwave-assisted ammonia-catalyzed hydrothermal route (CFAHM) by using Pluronic® F127 as a soft-template and m-Aminophenol as both carbon and nitrogen source. Their physical and electrochemical properties were compared with those of carbon samples obtained by a conventional hydrothermal method (CFAH). The best results in terms of particle size, surface area, pore size distribution, conductivity and N-content of the as-prepared CFAHM samples were obtained in 17 M NH4OH at 120 °C for 5 min. After 1100 °C pyrolysis step, conductivity of CFAHM increased to 5.64 S cm−1 compared to 8.64 S cm−1 for CFAH sample. Remarkably, GDE experiments with xylene-swelled CFAHM-supported platinum exhibited an excellent activity for ORR (181 mA cm−2 @ 0.7 V) and ECSA retention (80 % after 10,000 ADT) under half-cell conditions in 1 M H2SO4 at room temperature compared to only 57 mA cm−2 and 13 % for GDE with Pt/CVulcan reference material.