Cation-substitution-tuned oxygen electrocatalyst of spinel cobaltite McO2O4 (M = Fe, Co, and Ni) hexagonal nanoplates for rechargeable Zn-air batteries

Peng Tan, Zhen Wu, Bin Chen, Haoran Xu, Weizi Cai, Shaowei Jin, Zongping Shao, Meng Ni

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The spinel cobalt oxide (Co3O4) nanoplate exposed with hexagonal {111} facets is demonstrated to be a highly active catalyst, while the effect of cation substitution on the oxygen electrocatalysis is still unclear. Herein, the electrocatalytic activity of cation-substituted spinel cobaltite MCo2O4 (M = Fe, Co, and Ni) nanoplates with the {111} facets is investigated systematically by experiments and theoretical calculations. For both oxygen reduction and evolution reactions, Ni-substituted Co3O4 hexagonal nanoplates show the best activity. It is mainly attributed to the increased surface energy per unit area and the enhanced oxygen species absorption ability, which are also evidenced by density functional theory calculations. Moreover, the three kinds of MCo2O4 nanoplates are applied in Zn-air batteries and the corresponding electrochemical performance is tested. Among the three batteries, NiCo2O4 hexagonal nanoplates also enable the highest peak power density of 110.3 mW cm−2 and the most stable discharge-charge voltage profiles for 50 cycles, indicating that NiCo2O4 nanoplates are the promising catalyst for further Zn-air battery applications. Besides, this work illustrates that the substitution of Co by Ni or Fe can remarkably change the electronic structural states, thus tuning the electrochemical properties of the hexagonal Co3O4 nanoplates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)A3448-A3455
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrochemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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