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Issue 2, 2018

Fe/Fe3C@C nanoparticles encapsulated in N-doped graphene–CNTs framework as an efficient bifunctional oxygen electrocatalyst for robust rechargeable Zn–air batteries

Author affiliations

Abstract

3d transition metals or their derivatives encapsulated in nitrogen-doped nanocarbon show promising potential in non-precious metal oxygen electrocatalysts. Herein, we describe the simple construction of a bifunctional oxygen electrocatalyst with a “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 additional electrons on the carbon surface, promoting the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) on adjacent Fe–Nx active sites. The 3D NG hybrid with a 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 a potential difference of only 0.84 V; this places it among the best bifunctional ORR/OER electrocatalysts. Most importantly, Zn–air batteries using Fe@C–NG/NCNTs as the cathode catalyst deliver a peak power density of 101.2 mW cm−2 and a specific capacity of 682.6 mA h g−1 (energy density of 764.5 W h kg−1). After 297 continuous cycle tests (99 h), the rechargeable batteries using Fe@C–NG/NCNTs show a voltage gap increase of only 0.13 V, almost half that of Pt/C + Ir/C (0.22 V) under the same conditions. This work provides new insight into advanced electrocatalysts utilizing the structural features of host nanocarbon materials and guest active species toward energy conversion.

Graphical abstract: Fe/Fe3C@C nanoparticles encapsulated in N-doped graphene–CNTs framework as an efficient bifunctional oxygen electrocatalyst for robust rechargeable Zn–air batteries

Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
23 Sep 2017
Accepted
10 Nov 2017
First published
10 Nov 2017

J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018,6, 516-526
Article type
Paper

Fe/Fe3C@C nanoparticles encapsulated in N-doped graphene–CNTs framework as an efficient bifunctional oxygen electrocatalyst for robust rechargeable Zn–air batteries

Q. Wang, Y. Lei, Z. Chen, N. Wu, Y. Wang, B. Wang and Y. Wang, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, 6, 516 DOI: 10.1039/C7TA08423D

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