Phase and morphology engineering of porous cobalt–copper sulfide as a bifunctional oxygen electrode for rechargeable Zn–air batteries†
Developing efficient electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) is crucial for various sustainable energy devices such as rechargeable Zn–air batteries. Phase engineering has been proven to effectively tune the active-site electronic structure and thus improve the activity of electrocatalysts. However, phase transition usually induces morphology transformation, and the influence of realistic morphological feature change on the activity of electrocatalysts has seldom been considered. Herein, we present a facile thermal annealing strategy to transform cobalt–copper oxide nanosheets (Co2Cu1-ONS) into nanoparticle-stacked porous sulfide nanonetworks (Co2Cu1–S). Density functional theory (DFT) and dynamic DFT calculations confirm that the S thermal annealing process could bring about higher intrinsic activity of active sites and faster mass transfer of reactants, which endow Co2Cu1–S with remarkably higher OER/ORR catalytic performance than that of Co2Cu1-ONS and Co3S4. Its potential gap between the potential for an OER current density of 10.0 mA cm−2 and the ORR half-wave potential is as low as 0.74 V. The Co2Cu1–S is then employed as an air electrode for a rechargeable Zn–air battery, which exhibits a peak power density of 0.195 W cm−2, high specific capacity of 815.3 mA h g−1, and robust stability (up to 80 h).
- This article is part of the themed collection: Journal of Materials Chemistry A HOT Papers