Earthworm-Inspired Co/Co3O4/CoF2@NSC Nanofibrous Electrocatalyst with Confined Channels for Enhanced ORR/OER Performance

Han Li, Guilong Yan (Corresponding Author), Haoyue Zhao, Patrick C. Howlett, Xungai Wang (Corresponding Author), Jian Fang (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The rational construction of highly active and durable oxygen-reactive electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction/evolution reaction (ORR/OER) plays a critical role in rechargeable metal-air batteries. It is pivotal to achieve optimal utilization of electrocatalytically active sites and valid control of the high specific internal surface area. Inspiration for designing electrocatalysts can come from nature, as it is full of precisely manipulated and highly efficient structures. Herein, inspired by earthworms fertilizing soil, a 3D carbon nanofibrous electrocatalyst with multiple interconnected nanoconfined channels, cobalt-based heterojunction active particles and enriched N, S heteroatoms (Co/Co3O4/CoF2@NSC with confined channels) is rationally designed, showing superior bifunctional electrocatalytic activity in alkaline electrolyte, even outperforming that of benchmark Pt/C-RuO2 catalyst. This work demonstrates a new method for porous structural regulation, in which the internal confined channels within the nanofibers are controllably formed by the spontaneous migration of cobalt-based nanoparticles under a CO2 atmosphere. Theoretical analysis reveals that constructing Co/Co3O4/CoF2@NSC electrocatalyst with confined channels can greatly adjust the electron distribution, effectively lower the reaction barrier of inter-mediate and reduce the OER/ORR overpotential. This work introduces a novel and nature-inspired strategy for designing efficient bifunctional electrocatalysts with well-designed architectures.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAdvanced Materials
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


  • bifunctional oxygen electrocatalysis
  • Co/CoO/CoF heterojunction
  • nanoconfined channels
  • nanofibrous catalyst
  • rechargeable Zn-air battery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Earthworm-Inspired Co/Co3O4/CoF2@NSC Nanofibrous Electrocatalyst with Confined Channels for Enhanced ORR/OER Performance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this