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Fused Hybrid Linkers for Metal–Organic Frameworks-Derived Bifunctional Oxygen Electrocatalysts

revised on 25.04.2019 and posted on 25.04.2019 by Kefeng Ping, Alan Braschinsky, Mahboob Alam, Rohit Bhadoria, Valdek Mikli, Arvo Mere, Jaan Aruväli, Päärn Paiste, Sergei Vlassov, Mati Kook, Mihkel Rähn, Väino Sammelselg, Kaido Tammeveski, Nadezda Kongi, Pavel Starkov

Preparation of electrocatalysts often relies on the use of multiple starting materials – inorganic salts or organometallic precursors, nanostructured carbon supports, organic additives, dopants and carbonization under modifying atmospheres (e.g. NH3 or H2) – with the examples of electrocatalysts arising from a single precursor being much less common. Herein, we have surveyed a series of heterobivalent scaffolds to identify an iron/benzimidazole-based metal– organic framework as a uniform starting material. By merging the catechol and imidazole units together, we get direct entry into a highly efficient bifunctional oxygen electrocatalyst, which alleviates the need for additional dopants and modifying conditions (ORR: Eon = 1.01 V, E1/2 = 0.87 V vs. RHE in 0.1 M KOH; OER: 1.60 V @10 mA cm–2 in 0.1 M KOH; ∆E = 0.73 V). We demonstrate that by fine-tuning the chemical nature of an organic linker, one is able modulate the electrochemical properties of a single precursor-derived electrocatalyst material.


Estonian Research Council Grant PUT1290

TalTech Young Investigator Grant B62

Institutional Research Funding IUT20–16 of the Estonian Ministry for Education and Research

Centre of Excellence TK141: Advanced materials and high-technology devices for energy recuperation systems

Estonian Research Council Grant PSG250

Institutional Research Funding IUT19–4 of the Estonian Ministry for Education and Research

Estonian Research Council Grant PUT1689

Institutional Research Funding IUT2–24 of the Estonian Ministry for Education and Research


Email Address of Submitting Author


Tallinn University of Technology



ORCID For Submitting Author


Declaration of Conflict of Interest

K.P., K.T., N.K. and P.S. are inventors on a related patent application owned by TalTech and the University of Tartu.

Version Notes

version 2.0