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Issue 11, 2013
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Hybrid Li-air battery cathodes with sparse carbon nanotube arrays directly grown on carbon fiber papers

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Abstract

Sparsely populated, vertically aligned nitrogen doped carbon nanotube arrays (CNTAs) with dislocated-graphene stacking were grown directly on carbon fiber papers and investigated as hierarchical air cathodes in hybrid Li-air batteries with aqueous catholytes. The CNTAs were made with electrodeposited Ni nanocatalysts, followed by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition. The thus obtained CNTAs can reach a population number density as low as ∼107 per cm2 on the carbon fibers, achieving an extremely high porosity of over 99% for the active layer in the cathode. The sparse CNTAs not only provide effective pathways for the reacting species, but also show a significantly high catalytic activity, which is found to be comparable to that of a supported Pt electrocatalyst. The high activity of the CNTAs is attributed to the rich graphene edges exposed on the CNT surface and nitrogen doping. Hybrid Li-air batteries with such cathodes have shown a consistent discharging capacity of 710 mA h g−1 and a specific energy of 2057 W h kg−1 at 0.5 mA cm−2. Stable charge–discharge cycling at 0.5 mA cm−2 showed an average potential difference of 1.35 V, indicative of a relatively small overpotential and high round trip efficiency (71%). Furthermore, the hybrid Li-air battery based on the hierarchical cathode can reach a power density as high as 10.4 mW cm−2.

Graphical abstract: Hybrid Li-air battery cathodes with sparse carbon nanotube arrays directly grown on carbon fiber papers

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
02 Apr 2013
Accepted
28 Aug 2013
First published
29 Aug 2013

Energy Environ. Sci., 2013,6, 3339-3345
Article type
Paper

Hybrid Li-air battery cathodes with sparse carbon nanotube arrays directly grown on carbon fiber papers

Y. Li, Z. Huang, K. Huang, D. Carnahan and Y. Xing, Energy Environ. Sci., 2013, 6, 3339
DOI: 10.1039/C3EE41116H

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