The main drawbacks of today's state‐of‐the‐art lithium–air (Li–air) batteries are their low energy efficiency and limited cycle life due to the lack of earth‐abundant cathode catalysts that can drive both oxygen reduction and evolution reactions (ORR and OER) at high rates at thermodynamic potentials. Here, inexpensive trimolybdenum phosphide (Mo3P) nanoparticles with an exceptional activity—ORR and OER current densities of 7.21 and 6.85 mA cm−2at 2.0 and 4.2 V versus Li/Li+, respectively—in an oxygen‐saturated non‐aqueous electrolyte are reported. The Tafel plots indicate remarkably low charge transfer resistance—Tafel slopes of 35 and 38 mV dec−1for ORR and OER, respectively—resulting in the lowest ORR overpotential of 4.0 mV and OER overpotential of 5.1 mV reported to date. Using this catalyst, a Li–air battery cell with low discharge and charge overpotentials of 80 and 270 mV, respectively, and high energy efficiency of 90.2% in the first cycle is demonstrated. A long cycle life of 1200 is also achieved for this cell. Density functional theory calculations of ORR and OER on Mo3P (110) reveal that an oxide overlayer formed on the surface gives rise to the observed high ORR and OER electrocatalytic activity and small discharge/charge overpotentials.
Solar rechargeable battery combines the advantages of photoelectrochemical devices and batteries and has emerged as an attractive alternative to artificial photosynthesis for large‐scale solar energy harvesting and storage. Due to the low photovoltages by the photoelectrodes, however, most previous demonstrations of unassisted photocharge have been realized on systems with low open circuit potentials (<0.8 V). In response to this critical challenge, here it is shown that the combined photovoltages exceeding 1.4 V can be obtained using a Ta3N5nanotube photoanode and a GaN nanowire/Si photocathode with high photocurrents (>5 mA cm–2). The photoelectrode system makes it possible to operate a 1.2 V alkaline anthraquinone/ferrocyanide redox battery with a high ideal solar‐to‐chemical conversion efficiency of 3.0% without externally applied potentials. Importantly, the photocharged battery is successfully discharged with a high voltage output.more » « less
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Publisher / Repository:
- Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Advanced Materials
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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