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Multiple active components, synergistically driven cobalt and nitrogen Co-doped porous carbon as high-performance oxygen reduction electrocatalyst

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Abstract

Developing durable and efficient doped-type carbon electrocatalysts with diverse heteroatoms or transition metals for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) has captured increasing attention for their incredible electrocatalytic properties. However, compared to multiple-atom-doped carbon matrix, the introduction of single-type atoms into carbon skeletons provides little benefit to enhancing ORR activity. On the basis of this consideration, we successfully fabricated a cobalt (Co) and nitrogen (N) dual-doped porous carbon (Co@C-N) hybrid with multiple active sites by a facile strategy of combined hydrothermal reaction with thermolysis. As a comparison, porous nitrogen-doped carbon (C@N) was obtained by a similar method. Electrochemical tests confirm that the Co@C-N-120-900 exhibits the best ORR performance in alkaline media with the positive onset potential (Eonset) of 0.956 V vs. RHE (only 12 mV more negative than Pt/C), the high half-wave potential (E1/2) of 0.851 V vs. RHE (24 mV more positive than 20 wt% Pt/C), superior selectivity (a four-electron-dominant process), and smaller Tafel slope (57 mV dec−1). Meanwhile, as-synthesized Co@C-N-120-900 catalyst shows greater durability and significantly greater methanol tolerance than Pt/C catalyst. Our experiments indicate that the better overall ORR performance for Co@C-N-120-900 could be caused by the synergistic effect of multiple active components (single Co atom, Co–Nx and plentiful pyridinic-N), high BET specific surface area (1080 m2 g−1) and porous structures. Thus, the Co@C-N-120-900 catalyst is expected to be a cost-efficient and promising electrocatalyst in the field of the sustainable energy application, and this work might provide some directions for fabricating advanced energy storage materials.

Graphical abstract: Multiple active components, synergistically driven cobalt and nitrogen Co-doped porous carbon as high-performance oxygen reduction electrocatalyst

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Publication details

The article was received on 21 Jul 2017, accepted on 26 Aug 2017 and first published on 28 Aug 2017


Article type: Research Article
DOI: 10.1039/C7QI00427C
Citation: Inorg. Chem. Front., 2017, Advance Article
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    Multiple active components, synergistically driven cobalt and nitrogen Co-doped porous carbon as high-performance oxygen reduction electrocatalyst

    A. Zhu, P. Tan, L. Qiao, Y. Liu, Y. Ma, X. Xiong and J. Pan, Inorg. Chem. Front., 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7QI00427C

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