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Facile synthesis of polyacrylonitrile-based N/S-codoped porous carbon as an efficient oxygen reduction electrocatalyst for zinc–air batteries

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Abstract

Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) is an attractive precursor for N-doped porous carbons owing to its high nitrogen content and good thermal stability. Herein, a facile and effective route for the synthesis of N/S co-doped porous carbon by capitalizing on hetero-atom containing PAN as a doped carbon source and ZnCl2 as a volatile porogen is reported. Notably, the optimal porous carbon (denoted as FeZ-CNS-900) with a large specific surface area of up to 1730 m2 g−1 exhibits excellent oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity with a half-wave potential of 0.881 V, which is 39 mV more positive than that of commercial Pt/C under alkaline conditions, as well as robust durability and methanol tolerance. Interestingly, the use of N/S co-doped porous carbon also offers comparable ORR activity yet much higher stability than that of Pt/C under acidic conditions. Finally, the implementation of FeZ-CNS-900 as the air-cathode catalyst for primary Zn–air batteries yields an open-circuit potential of 1.49 V, a high peak power density of 168 mW cm−2, a large specific capacity of 778 mA h gZn−1 (corresponding to an energy density of 1020 W h kgZn−1) and a remarkable durability.

Graphical abstract: Facile synthesis of polyacrylonitrile-based N/S-codoped porous carbon as an efficient oxygen reduction electrocatalyst for zinc–air batteries

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Publication details

The article was received on 28 Feb 2019, accepted on 31 Mar 2019 and first published on 01 Apr 2019


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C9TA02256B
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2019, Advance Article

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    Facile synthesis of polyacrylonitrile-based N/S-codoped porous carbon as an efficient oxygen reduction electrocatalyst for zinc–air batteries

    G. Li, L. Pei, Y. Wu, B. Zhu, Q. Hu, H. Yang, Q. Zhang, J. Liu and C. He, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2019, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9TA02256B

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