Oxygen reduction reaction: Semi-empirical quantum mechanical and electrochemical study of Printex L6 carbon black

Paulo Jorge Marques Cordeiro-Junior, Roger Gonçalves, Thais Tasso Guaraldo, Robert da Silva Paiva, Ernesto Chaves Pereira, Marcos Roberto de Vasconcelos Lanza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (SciVal)


Amorphous carbon black (CB) is a highly reactive material for O2 reduction and widely employed in H2O2 generation. Most studies published have confined their investigation to few electrochemical properties of CB and its morphological and structural characterization. However, an in-depth understanding of CB properties and their effects on oxygen reduction reaction appears to be the key to making significant progress in this field. This paper describes the use of quantum mechanical semi-empirical calculations to obtain structural information and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy to access the electrochemical information of Printex L6 CB (PCL6). It is the first report of its kind in the literature. The semi-empirical results show that PCL6 electrode presents an increase in the number of hotspots due to the presence of large amount of sp2 carbon and functional groups in its composition, which favors O2 adsorption at lower potentials. The equilibrium distance on PCL6 electrode is closer to the distance of a double bond (C[dbnd]O), reinforcing O2 bridge-like adsorption model. Furthermore, PCL6 had proved to be thermodynamically more favourable to O2 adsorption and requires relatively lower energy and potential (shift of 150 mV). PLC6 is found to undergo an activation process, probably associated with O2 adsorption, prior to the beginning of reaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
Early online date21 Sep 2019
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2020


  • Electrochemical characterization
  • Printex L6 carbon black
  • Quantum mechanical semi-empirical calculations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)


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