Tailoring structural properties of carbon via implanting optimal co nanoparticles in n-rich carbon cages toward high-efficiency oxygen electrocatalysis for rechargeable zn-air batteries

Jie Yu, Yawen Dai, Zhenbao Zhang, Tong Liu, Siyuan Zhao, Chun Cheng, Peng Tan, Zongping Shao, Meng Ni

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Rational construction of carbon-based materials with high-efficiency bifunctionality and low cost as the substitute of precious metal catalyst shows a highly practical value for rechargeable Zn-air batteries (ZABs) yet it still remains challenging. Herein, this study employs a simple mixing-calcination strategy to fabricate a high-performance bifunctional composite catalyst composed of N-doped graphitic carbon encapsulating Co nanoparticles (Co@NrC). Benefiting from the core-shell architectural and compositional advantages of favorable electronic configuration, more exposed active sites, sufficient electric conductivity, rich defects, and excellent charge transport, the optimal Co@NrC hybrid (Co@NrC-0.3) presents outstanding catalytic activity and stability toward oxygen-related electrochemical reactions (oxygen reduction and evolution reactions, i.e., ORR and OER), with a low potential gap of 0.766 V. Besides, the rechargeable liquid ZAB assembled with this hybrid electrocatalyst delivers a high peak power density of 168 mW cm−2, a small initial discharge-charge potential gap of 0.45 V at 10 mA cm−2, and a good rate performance. Furthermore, a relatively large power density of 108 mW cm−2 is also obtained with the Co@NrC-0.3-based flexible solid-state ZAB, which can well power LED lights. Such work offers insights in developing excellent bifunctional electrocatalysts for both OER and ORR and highlights their potential applications in metal-air batteries and other energy-conversion/storage devices.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCarbon Energy
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Co nanoparticles
  • core-shell nanostructure
  • N-doped graphitic carbon
  • oxygen electrocatalysis
  • Zn-air battery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)

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