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Issue 4, 2018
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In situ encapsulation of core–shell-structured Co@Co3O4 into nitrogen-doped carbon polyhedra as a bifunctional catalyst for rechargeable Zn–air batteries

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Abstract

The traditional oxygen reduction/evolution reaction (ORR/OER) catalysts are mainly noble metal-based materials, but their scarcity and instability impede their practical applications, especially in Zn–air batteries. Hence, identifying a bifunctional catalyst with low-cost and high-stability is very crucial for Zn–air batteries. Herein, we report a simple method to prepare core–shell-structured Co@Co3O4 nanoparticles encapsulated into N-doped carbon polyhedra by carbonization and controlled oxidation of metal–organic frameworks (MOFs), which are then applied as a bifunctional catalyst for Zn–air batteries. Using such a configuration, enhanced performances, including a high power density of ∼64 mW cm−2, a stable voltage profile over 80 h battery operation with four mechanical recharges, a small discharge/charge overpotential of ∼0.66 V and a long-life of 100 cycles for 200 h operation at 5 mA cm−2, have been achieved. These excellent performances can be attributed to abundant graphited carbon and CNTs, high N-doping, plentiful pores, the synergy between the semiconductive Co3O4-coating layer and the conductive Co bulk, and the uniform Co@Co3O4 nanoparticles in this catalyst which effectively improve electrical conductivity/ion transfer and further concertedly promote the catalytic activity towards the ORR/OER. Moreover, the belt-shaped polymer Zn–air battery with this catalyst also shows good electrochemical stability under different deformations.

Graphical abstract: In situ encapsulation of core–shell-structured Co@Co3O4 into nitrogen-doped carbon polyhedra as a bifunctional catalyst for rechargeable Zn–air batteries

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Publication details

The article was received on 12 Nov 2017, accepted on 13 Dec 2017 and first published on 14 Dec 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7TA09958D
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018,6, 1443-1453
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    In situ encapsulation of core–shell-structured Co@Co3O4 into nitrogen-doped carbon polyhedra as a bifunctional catalyst for rechargeable Zn–air batteries

    Z. Guo, F. Wang, Y. Xia, J. Li, A. G. Tamirat, Y. Liu, L. Wang, Y. Wang and Y. Xia, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, 6, 1443
    DOI: 10.1039/C7TA09958D

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