Research Article

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2020, 13(4): 1090–1099

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https://doi.org/10.1007/s12274-020-2751-7

Hierarchical peony-like FeCo-NC with conductive network and highly active sites as efficient electrocatalyst for rechargeable Zn-air battery

Yiyan Wang1, Anuj Kumar3, Mang Ma1, Yin Jia3, Yu Wang1, Ying Zhang1, Guoxin Zhang2 (*), Xiaoming Sun1, and Zifeng Yan1 (*)

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1 State Key Laboratory of Heavy Oil Processing, China University of Petroleum (East China), Qingdao 266580, China
2 Department of Electrical Engineering and Automation, Shandong University of Science and Technology, Qingdao 266590, China
3 Department of Chemistry, Institute of Humanities and applied Science, GLA University, Mathura-281406, India

Keywords: atomically dispersed catalyst, hierarchical structure, carbon nanotube, oxygen electrocatalyst, rechargeable zinc-air battery
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  • Abstract
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Carbon materials featuring hierarchical pores and atomically dispersed metal sites are promising catalysts for energy storage and conversion applications. Herein, we developed a facile strategy to construct functional carbon materials with a fluffy peony-like structure and dense binary FeCo-Nx active sites (termed as f-FeCo-CNT). By regulating the metal content in precursors, a three-dimensional (3D) interconnected conductive carbon nanotubes network was in-situ formed throughout the atomically dispersed FeCo-NC matrix during pyrolysis. Taking advantage of rich pore hierarchy and co-existence of highly active FeCo-Nx sites and beneficial FeCo alloy nanoparticles, the f-FeCo-CNT material exhibited excellent bifunctional performance towards oxygen reduction reaction/oxygen evolution reactions (ORR/OER) with respect to the atomically dispersed FeCo-NC (SA-f-FeCo-NC) and commercial Pt/C+RuO2 mixture, surpassing the SA-f-FeCo-NC with a 20 mV higher ORR half-wave potential and a 100 mV lower OER overpotential (at 10.0 mA/cm2). Remarkably, the f-FeCo-CNT-assembled Zn-air battery (ZAB) possessed a maximum specific power of 195.8 mW/cm2, excellent rate capability, and very good cycling stability at large current density of 20.0 mA/cm2. This work provides a facile and feasible synthetic strategy of constructing low-cost cathode materials with excellent comprehensive ZAB performance.
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Hierarchical peony-like FeCo-NC with conductive network and highly active sites as efficient electrocatalyst for rechargeable Zn-air battery. Nano Res. 2020, 13(4): 1090–1099 https://doi.org/10.1007/s12274-020-2751-7

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