Co single-atoms on ultrathin N-doped porous carbon via a biomass complexation strategy for high performance metal–air batteries†
The sluggish kinetics of air electrodes largely limits the practical applications of metal–air batteries. At present, preparing single-atom catalysts confined in ultrathin N-doped porous carbon (NPC) with a high surface area remains a challenge. Herein, a facile strategy by complexation of biomass and metal ions combined with the gas-foaming method was used to synthesize substantial Co–N4 active sites on ultrathin NPC with a super-high specific surface area of 1977.9 m2 g−1. The catalyst owns brilliant oxygen reduction reaction properties with higher half-wave potential of 0.863 V and faster kinetics process (68.3 mV dec−1) than those of Pt/C (0.856 V and 80.46 mV dec−1, respectively). Remarkably, it exhibits distinguished reversibility with a high initial cycle efficiency of 60.8% and satisfactory stability when used in Zn–air batteries. Moreover, the assembled Al–air battery displays preeminent discharge performance with ultrahigh power density (494 mW cm−2) and energy density (2387 W h kg−1) at 200 mA cm−2. This study opens a new avenue to fully utilize biomass for constructing Co single-atom catalysts for metal–air batteries.