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Ultra-fast pyrolysis of ferrocene forming Fe/C heterostructures as robust oxygen evolution electrocatalysts

Abstract

As the most potential catalytic materials for oxygen evolution reaction, abundant and eco-friendly iron-based materials are often limited by inferior electrical conductivity. Here, we propose a cost-effective and facile strategy to prepare Fe/C heterostructured composite (Fe/Fe3C-F@CNT) via ultra-fast pyrolysis of ferrocene based on the induction and microwave thermal effect of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (CNTs). Fe/Fe3C-F@CNT obtains novel heterostructure that carbon-encapsulated Fe/Fe3C nanoparticles are uniformly distributed on the surface of CNTs and small iron-based nano-clusters exist on the surface of carbon layer, improving electrical conductivity and the dispersion of active sites. Fe/Fe3C-F@CNT shows superior OER catalytic performance, which is better than lots of Co- and Ni-based catalysts and even superior to RuO2. Furthermore, the catalytic performance is further improved by loading on the commercial foam iron, just needing a low overpotential (286 mV) to reach the current density of 10 mA cm-2. The durable catalytic stability, having no obvious degradation at 100 mA cm-2 after 320 h, makes Fe/Fe3C-F@CNT have great promising to become efficient, low-cost and environmentally-friendly OER catalyst applied in water electrolysis and metal-air batteries. More importantly, this work greatly shortens preparation time while building uniform Fe/C heterostructures, which brings a new inspiration for fabricating various materials applied in the green energy sources.

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Publication details

The article was received on 15 Jun 2018, accepted on 01 Oct 2018 and first published on 11 Oct 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8TA05733H
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    Ultra-fast pyrolysis of ferrocene forming Fe/C heterostructures as robust oxygen evolution electrocatalysts

    T. Gao, C. Zhou, Y. Zhang, Z. Jin, H. Yuan and D. Xiao, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8TA05733H

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