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Issue 42, 2018

Robust N-doped carbon aerogels strongly coupled with iron–cobalt particles as efficient bifunctional catalysts for rechargeable Zn–air batteries

Author affiliations

Abstract

The rational design of highly-active and stable reversible oxygen electrocatalysts for both the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) plays a key role in rechargeable metal–air batteries, yet remains a great challenge. Herein, a novel dual-crosslinked hydrogel strategy is proposed to synthesize a new type of carbon aerogel that anchors the iron–cobalt (FeCo) particles as a bifunctional oxygen catalyst. The proposed hydrogel composed of an organic/inorganic network can be easily obtained by initiating sol–gel polymerization of cyanometalates, chitosan and graphene oxide. After pyrolysis, FeCo nanocrystals can be in situ uniformly immobilized within the N-doped “dual-network” carbon aerogels (FeCo/N-DNC) with a robust 3D porous framework. When used as an electrocatalyst, the newly developed FeCo/N-DNC aerogels exhibit a positive onset potential (0.89 V) and half-wave potential (0.81 V) for the ORR and a low overpotential (0.39 V) at 10 mA cm−2 for the OER, while presenting excellent electrochemical stability after being tested for 10 000 s. More importantly, the FeCo/N-DNC driven Zn–air battery reveals a smaller charge/discharge voltage gap, higher power/energy density and better cycling stability than the costlier Pt/C + RuO2 mixture catalyst. Our findings provide a facile and feasible synthetic strategy for obtaining highly active and stable electrocatalysts.

Graphical abstract: Robust N-doped carbon aerogels strongly coupled with iron–cobalt particles as efficient bifunctional catalysts for rechargeable Zn–air batteries

Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
18 Jul 2018
Accepted
30 Sep 2018
First published
22 Oct 2018

Nanoscale, 2018,10, 19937-19944
Article type
Paper

Robust N-doped carbon aerogels strongly coupled with iron–cobalt particles as efficient bifunctional catalysts for rechargeable Zn–air batteries

G. Fu, Y. Liu, Y. Chen, Y. Tang, J. B. Goodenough and J. Lee, Nanoscale, 2018, 10, 19937 DOI: 10.1039/C8NR05812A

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