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Issue 36, 2020
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Immobilizing single atom catalytic sites onto highly reduced carbon hosts: Fe–N4/CNT as a durable oxygen reduction catalyst for Na–air batteries

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Abstract

Immobilizing metal ions on a carbon support usually involves severe aggregation (sintering) and loose attachment of metal ions owing to a weak metal–support interaction. Here, we propose an alternative synthetic strategy termed ‘selective microwave annealing’ (SMA) to stabilize abundant single atom catalytic sites onto a highly reduced form of carbon host with only a few minutes of microwave irradiation. Thus, nitrogen-coordinated single atom iron sites on a carbon nanotube (Fe–N4/CNT) synthesized via SMA show unprecedented oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity and pH-universal durability superior to those of thermally annealed Fe–N4/CNT and expensive Pt/C catalysts. Furthermore, an aqueous Na–air battery with our Fe–N4/CNT catalyst operates as effectively as the device with the Pt/C catalyst. The method provides a new concept for the design of various strongly coupled and highly dispersed carbon-supported catalysts, which could open up new avenues for use in a wide range of electrochemical and catalytic applications.

Graphical abstract: Immobilizing single atom catalytic sites onto highly reduced carbon hosts: Fe–N4/CNT as a durable oxygen reduction catalyst for Na–air batteries

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
02 Jul 2020
Accepted
17 Aug 2020
First published
19 Aug 2020

J. Mater. Chem. A, 2020,8, 18891-18902
Article type
Paper

Immobilizing single atom catalytic sites onto highly reduced carbon hosts: Fe–N4/CNT as a durable oxygen reduction catalyst for Na–air batteries

W. Y. Noh, E. M. Kim, K. Y. Kim, J. H. Kim, H. Y. Jeong, P. Sharma, G. Lee, J. Jang, S. H. Joo and J. S. Lee, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2020, 8, 18891
DOI: 10.1039/D0TA06489K

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