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Issue 12, 2017
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A microwave-assisted synthesis of CoO@Co core–shell structures coupled with N-doped reduced graphene oxide used as a superior multi-functional electrocatalyst for hydrogen evolution, oxygen reduction and oxygen evolution reactions

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Abstract

A novel electrochemical catalyst comprising CoO@Co nanoparticles with a core–shell structure immobilized on N-doped reduced graphene oxide (rGO) (CoO@Co/N-rGO) has been synthesized using a convenient and controllable technique — combining a rapid microwave-polyol method with a vacuum thermal treatment. Excellent features including the Co/N-doping effect, introduction of CoO@Co particles with a core–shell structure and good contact between the CoO@Co particles and N-doped graphene result in a highly multi-functional catalytic efficiency. The catalyst exhibits remarkable catalytic activity and superior stability towards the hydrogen evolution reaction, offering a low overpotential of 140 mV for 10 mA cm−2 in 0.5 M H2SO4 and 237 mV in 0.1 M KOH. The catalyst also shows excellent oxygen reduction reaction activity in 0.1 M KOH, a similar four-electron pathway, which is comparable to that of a commercial Pt/C catalyst, and superior stability. In addition, a good electrochemical performance towards the oxygen evolution reaction was observed for the catalyst, achieving a current density of 10 mA cm−2 with a small overpotential of 1.67 V in 0.1 M KOH, which is comparable to that of a commercial RuO2 catalyst. The unusual catalytic activities arise from the synergetic chemical coupling effects of metallic Co, cobalt oxides and Co/N-doped graphene. This study provides a new attractive multi-functional catalyst material for unitized regenerative fuel cells and overall water splitting technologies.

Graphical abstract: A microwave-assisted synthesis of CoO@Co core–shell structures coupled with N-doped reduced graphene oxide used as a superior multi-functional electrocatalyst for hydrogen evolution, oxygen reduction and oxygen evolution reactions

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Publication details

The article was received on 09 Dec 2016, accepted on 20 Feb 2017 and first published on 21 Feb 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C6TA10591B
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017,5, 5865-5872
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    A microwave-assisted synthesis of CoO@Co core–shell structures coupled with N-doped reduced graphene oxide used as a superior multi-functional electrocatalyst for hydrogen evolution, oxygen reduction and oxygen evolution reactions

    X. X. Liu, J. B. Zang, L. Chen, L. B. Chen, X. Chen, P. Wu, S. Y. Zhou and Y. H. Wang, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017, 5, 5865
    DOI: 10.1039/C6TA10591B

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