Effect of Support on Oxygen Reduction Reaction Activity of Supported Iron Porphyrins

Qi Hua, Kenneth E. Madsen, Anne Marie Esposito, Xinyi Chen, Toby J. Woods, Richard T. Haasch, Shuting Xiang, Anatoly I. Frenkel, Timothy T. Fister, Andrew A. Gewirth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity in acid of an Fe porphyrin on different supports. While the activity is high (E1/2 = 0.34 V vs RHE with n = 3.8) when the Fe porphyrin is adsorbed on XC72 (a graphitic carbon), this activity is much lower when the porphyrin is adsorbed on either MoS2 (E1/2 = −0.15 V vs RHE with n = 2.2) or g-C3N4 (E1/2 = −0.24 V vs RHE with n = 3.1). Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR), X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS), and magnetometry measurements show the electronic structure around the Fe center is the same for all three supports. Only the Fe porphyrin supported on XC72 exhibits a pH dependence in its ORR activity. This observation, coupled with the increased hydrophilicity of XC72 relative to the other supports, suggests that the support-electrolyte interaction controls the ORR activity. Modification of MoS2 to increase its hydrophilicity results in a more active ORR catalyst.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1139-1149
Number of pages11
JournalACS Catalysis
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 21 2022


  • MoS
  • carbon
  • carbon nitride
  • hydrophilicity
  • iron porphyrin
  • oxygen reduction reaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)


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