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Fe/Fe3C@C Nanoparticles Encapsulated in N-Doped Graphene-CNTs Framework as An Efficient Bifunctional Oxygen Electrocatalyst for Robust Rechargeable Zn-air Batteries

Abstract

3d Transition metals or their derivatives encapsulated in nitrogen-doped nanocarbon shows promising potential in non-precious metal oxygen electrocatalysts. Herein, we simply construct bifunctional oxygen electrocatalyst with “framework-active sites” structure, namely Fe/Fe3C@C (Fe@C) nanoparticles encapsulated in 3D N-doped graphene and bamboo-like CNTs (Fe@C-NG/NCNTs). The Fe@C structure provides the additional electron on carbon surface, promoting oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) on adjacent Fe-Nx active sites. The 3D NG hybrids with bamboo-like CNTs framework facilitates fast reactant diffusion and rapid electron transfer. The optimized sample displays excellent ORR and oxygen evolution reaction (OER) activity with the potential difference of only 0.84 V, among one of the best bifunctional ORR/OER electrocatalysts. Most importantly, the according Zn-air batteries using Fe@C-NG/NCNTs as cathode catalysts delivers a peak power density of 101.2 mW cm−2 and a specific capacity of 682.6 mAh g−1 (energy density of 764.5 W h kg−1). After 297 continuous cycles (99h) test, the rechargeable batteries using Fe@C-NG/NCNTs shows a voltage gap increase of only 0.13 V, almost half of Pt/C + Ir/C (0.22 V) under the same condition. This work provides new insight to advanced electrocatalysts utilizing the structural feature of host nanocarbon materials and guest active species toward energy conversion.

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Publication details

The article was received on 23 Sep 2017, accepted on 10 Nov 2017 and first published on 10 Nov 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7TA08423D
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    Fe/Fe3C@C Nanoparticles Encapsulated in N-Doped Graphene-CNTs Framework as An Efficient Bifunctional Oxygen Electrocatalyst for Robust Rechargeable Zn-air Batteries

    Y. lei, Q. Wang, Z. Chen, N. Wu, Y. Wang, B. wang and Y. wang, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7TA08423D

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