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Functionalized silica materials for electrocatalysis


Electrocatalysis is an important phenomenon which is utilized in metal–air batteries, fuel cells, electrochemical sensors, etc. To increase the efficiency of the electrocatalytic process and to increase the electrochemical accessibility of the immobilized electrocatalysts, functionalized and non-functionalized mesoporous organo-silica (MCM41-type-materials) are used in this study. These materials possess several suitable properties to be durable catalysts and/or catalyst supports. Owing to the uniform dispersion of electrocatalysts (metal complex and/or metal nanoparticles (NPs)) on the functionalized and non-functionalized silica, an enormous increase in the redox current is observed. Long range channels of silica materials with pore diameter of 15–100 Å allowed metal NPs to accommodate in a specified manner in addition to other catalysts. The usefulness of MCM-41-type silica in increasing the efficiency of electrocatalysis is demonstrated by selecting oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrite reduction reactions as examples.

To increase the efficiency of electrocatalytic process and electrochemical accessibility of immobilized electrocatalysts, functionalized and nonfunctionalized mesoporous organo-silica are used. Uniform dispersion of metal nanoparticles and/or electrocatalysts on silica enormously increases the reduction current. Presence of metal nanoparticles significantly improves the electrocatalytic reduction of oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrite.

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The author thanks UGC, CSIR and DST, New Delhi for funding. The author also thanks Prof. S K Sengupta and Dr. Manas Pal for useful suggestions.

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Correspondence to VELLAICHAMY GANESAN.

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GANESAN, V. Functionalized silica materials for electrocatalysis. J Chem Sci 127, 307–313 (2015).

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  • Functionalized silica
  • electrocatalysis
  • metal nanoparticles
  • oxygen reduction
  • carbon dioxide reduction
  • nitrite reduction.