Formation of uniform porous yolk–shell MnCo2O4 microrugby balls with enhanced electrochemical performance for lithium storage and the oxygen evolution reaction†
Mixed transition metal oxides with favorable electrochemical properties are promising electrode materials in energy storage and conversion systems. In this work, uniform porous yolk–shell MnCo2O4 (denoted as YSM-MCO) microrugby balls have been synthesized by simple annealing treatment of metal carbonates with a microrugby ball shape in air. Benefiting from the desired porous structure and composition, the as-synthesized YSM-MCO exhibits enhanced electrochemical performance when investigated as anode materials for lithium-ion batteries and electrocatalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction. The YSM-MCO demonstrates remarkable lithium storage properties with a good cycling stability (94% capacity retention over 200 cycles at 0.5 A g−1) and superior rate capability (414 mA h g−1 at 5 A g−1). In addition, the YSM-MCO also exhibits better OER activity than most of the reported MnCo2O4-based electrocatalysts.