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Designing N-doped carbon nanotubes and Fe-Fe3C nanostructures co-embedded in B-doped mesoporous carbon as endurant cathode electrocatalyst for metal-air batteries

Abstract

Oxygen reduction and evolution reactions are of immense importance in electrochemical conversion/storage devices like regenerative/alcohol/hydrogen based fuel cells and metal-air batteries. Here, a rational facile synthesis methodology has been devloped to design N-doped carbon nanotubes (N-CNTs) and Fe-Fe3C nanostructures co-embedded in B-doped mesoporous carbon nanostructures (BFNCNTs) as noble metal-free superior bi-functional electrocatalyst for oxygen evolution/ reduction rections. The incorporation of N and B with negligible/undetectable B-N formation and Fe-Fe3C nanostructures lead to the superior performance by introducing plenty of defects, local heterogenity and high specific surface area (~272 m2/g). Besides, mesoporous boron doped carbon acts as a host material for NCNTs and Fe-Fe3C, it offers good connectivity as well as a protective coating for durable catalysis. Remarkably, more positive onset (-30 mV) and half-wave potentials (-225 mV) with ~ 94 % current retenation under accelerated stability test and fuel tolerance for ORR, in cosort with lower onset (422 mV) and Ej=10(OER) (562 mV) potentials with high current density (190 mA/cm2 @ 0.8 V vs Ag/AgCl) for OER as compared to commercial state-of-the-art electrocatalyst suggest superior bifunctional behavior of BFNCNTs. The complete oxygen electrochemical activity ΔE=Ej(OER)=10 - E1/2(ORR) =0.788 V for BFNCNTs is lower than recently reported various state-of-the-art bifunctinal catalysts. Besides, a prototype battery fabrication using BFNCNTs as cathode electrode for driving a light emitting diode has been demonstrated. Overall, BFNCNTs have potential to serve as non-precious electrocatalysts for electrochemical energy devices.

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Publication details

The article was received on 26 May 2017, accepted on 09 Jul 2017 and first published on 10 Jul 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7TA04597B
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    Designing N-doped carbon nanotubes and Fe-Fe3C nanostructures co-embedded in B-doped mesoporous carbon as endurant cathode electrocatalyst for metal-air batteries

    R. Nandan and K. K. Nanda, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7TA04597B

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