Circumventing Scaling Relations in Oxygen Electrochemistry using Metal-Organic Frameworks

25 September 2020, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


It has been well-established that unfavorable scaling relationships between *OOH, *OH, and *O are responsible for the high overpotentials associated with oxygen electrochemistry. A number of strategies have been proposed for breaking these linear constraints for traditional electrocatalysts (e.g. metals, alloys, metal-doped carbons); such approaches have not yet been validated experimentally for heterogenous catalysts. Development of a new class of catalysts capable of circumventing such scaling relations remains an ongoing challenge in the field. In this work, we use density functional theory (DFT) calculations to demonstrate that bimetallic porphyrin-based MOFs (PMOFs) are an ideal materials platform for rationally-designing the 3D active site environments for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). Specifically, we show that the *OOH binding energy and the theoretical limiting potential can be optimized by appropriately tuning the transition metal active site, the oxophilic spectator, and the MOF topology. Our calculations predict theoretical limiting potentials as high as 1.07 V for Fe/Cr-PMOF-Al, which exceeds the Pt/C benchmark for 4e ORR. More broadly, by highlighting their unique characteristics, this works aims to establish bimetallic porphyrin-based MOFs as a viable materials platform for future experimental and theoretical ORR studies.




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