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Issue 43, 2018
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Ultra-fast pyrolysis of ferrocene to form Fe/C heterostructures as robust oxygen evolution electrocatalysts

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Abstract

As potential catalytic materials for the oxygen evolution reaction, abundant and eco-friendly iron-based materials are often limited by inferior electrical conductivity. Herein, we propose a cost-effective and facile strategy to prepare a 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 exhibits a novel heterostructure where 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, thus improving the electrical conductivity and dispersion of active sites. Fe/Fe3C–F@CNT shows superior OER catalytic performance, which is better than that of many Co- and Ni-based catalysts and even superior to that of RuO2. Furthermore, the catalytic performance further improved by loading Fe/Fe3C–F@CNT on the commercial foam iron. The resultant composite required a low overpotential (286 mV) to reach the current density of 10 mA cm−2. The durable catalytic stability, exhibiting no significant degradation at 100 mA cm−2 after 320 h, makes Fe/Fe3C–F@CNT a promising efficient, low-cost and environmentally-friendly OER catalyst for application in water electrolysis and metal–air batteries. More importantly, this study greatly shortens the preparation time required to fabricate uniform Fe/C heterostructures. This study brings a new inspiration for fabricating various materials for application as green energy sources.

Graphical abstract: Ultra-fast pyrolysis of ferrocene to form Fe/C heterostructures as robust oxygen evolution electrocatalysts

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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, 2018,6, 21577-21584
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    Ultra-fast pyrolysis of ferrocene to form 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, 6, 21577
    DOI: 10.1039/C8TA05733H

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