Lanthanoid coordination compounds as diverse self-templating agents towards hierarchically porous Fe-N-C electrocatalysts

Itamar Salton, Karina Ioffe, Tomer Y. Burshtein, Eliyahu M. Farber, Nicola M. Seraphim, Nofit Segal, David Eisenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pore structure is a critical material property of carbon materials, determining their surface area, active site accessibility, wettability, and efficiency of bubble removal. In the self-templating approach to pore design, inorganic particles form inside a carbon during pyrolysis, templating meso- and macropores. This strategy is simple and economic, yet limited by choice of templating elements and by incomplete understanding of carbon-template interactions. We followed the self-templating process of eight lanthanoid coordination compounds (the iminodiacetates of La3+, Nd3+, Sm3+, Eu3+, Gd3+, Tb3+, Er3+, and Yb3+), shedding light on the pore structure and the processes that form it. The resulting carbons showed high BET specific surface areas (up to 2700 m2 g−1), hierarchical micro-, meso- and macro-porosity, and lanthanoid-imprinted nitrogen moieties that could be transmetalated to yield atomically dispersed Fe-Nx sites. Some of the resulting Fe-N-C materials showed excellent activity towards hydrazine oxidation electrocatalysis, helping to identify several key links between porosity and electrocatalysis, especially the removal of electrode-blocking N2(g) bubbles. Overall, this detailed investigation expands the toolbox of rational design methods towards rich and useful electrocatalyst porosities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7937-7945
Number of pages9
JournalMaterials Advances
Issue number21
StatePublished - 23 Aug 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • General Materials Science


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