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Oxygen reduction reaction catalyzed by carbon composites with ruthenium-doped iron oxide nanoparticlesCarbon nanocomposites based on transition-metal oxides have been attracting extensive attention as cost-effective catalysts towards the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). However, the activity remains subpar as compared to state-of-the-art platinum catalysts. One way to enhance the ORR performance is to dope a second metal into the nanocomposite to manipulate the electronic structure and hence the interactions with key reaction intermediates. Herein, dual metal (Ru and Fe) and nitrogen codoped carbon (RuFe-NC) nanocomposites were synthesized by controlled pyrolysis of a Fe–Ru–Fe trinuclear complex along with zeolitic imidazolate framework-8. The obtained porous nanocomposites consisted of Ru-doped Fe 2 O 3 nanoparticles embedded within a carbon scaffold, and exhibited an ORR activity in alkaline media rivaling that of commercial Pt/C, which was also markedly better than those of the monometallic counterparts and nanocomposites prepared with a simple mixture of the individual monometallic compound precursors. Structural characterization suggests that the use of the trinuclear complex facilitated the atomic dispersion of ruthenium within the iron oxide nanoparticles and charge transfer between the metal centers led to a high ORR activity. Results from this study suggest that rational design of heteronuclear complexes may be a unique strategy in the structural engineering of carbon-metal nanocomposites for high-performancemore »
Superior Oxygen Reduction Reaction on Phosphorus‐Doped Carbon Dot/Graphene Aerogel for All‐Solid‐State Flexible Al–Air Batteries
Carbon dots have been recognized as one of the most promising candidates for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in alkaline media. However, the desired ORR performance in metal–air batteries is often limited by the moderate electrocatalytic activity and the lack of a method to realize good dispersion. To address these issues, herein a biomass‐deriving method is reported to achieve the in situ phosphorus doping (P‐doping) of carbon dots and their simultaneous decoration onto graphene matrix. The resultant product, namely P‐doped carbon dot/graphene (P‐CD/G) nanocomposites, can reach an ultrahigh P‐doping level for carbon nanomaterials. The P‐CD/G nanocomposites are found to exhibit excellent ORR activity, which is highly comparable to the commercial Pt/C catalysts. When used as the cathode materials for a primary liquid Al–air battery, the device shows an impressive power density of 157.3 mW cm−2(comparing to 151.5 mW cm−2of a similar Pt/C battery). Finally, an all‐solid‐state flexible Al–air battery is designed and fabricated based on our new nanocomposites. The device exhibits a stable discharge voltage of ≈1.2 V upon different bending states. This study introduces a unique biomass‐derived material system to replace the noble metal catalysts for future portable and wearable electronic devices.
Ultrafast Preparation of Nonequilibrium FeNi Spinels by Magnetic Induction Heating for Unprecedented Oxygen Evolution ElectrocatalysisCarbon-supported nanocomposites are attracting particular attention as high-performance, low-cost electrocatalysts for electrochemical water splitting. These are mostly prepared by pyrolysis and hydrothermal procedures that are time-consuming (from hours to days) and typically difficult to produce a nonequilibrium phase. Herein, for the first time ever, we exploit magnetic induction heating-quenching for ultrafast production of carbon-FeNi spinel oxide nanocomposites (within seconds), which exhibit an unprecedentedly high performance towards oxygen evolution reaction (OER), with an ultralow overpotential of only +260 mV to reach the high current density of 100 mA cm -2 . Experimental and theoretical studies show that the rapid heating and quenching process (ca. 10 3 K s -1 ) impedes the Ni and Fe phase segregation and produces a Cl-rich surface, both contributing to the remarkable catalytic activity. Results from this study highlight the unique advantage of ultrafast heating/quenching in the structural engineering of functional nanocomposites to achieve high electrocatalytic performance towards important electrochemical reactions.
Robust Fe 3 Mo 3 C Supported IrMn Clusters as Highly Efficient Bifunctional Air Electrode for Metal–Air Battery
Catalysts at the air cathode for oxygen reduction and evolution reactions are central to the stability of rechargeable metal–air batteries, an issue that is gaining increasing interest in recent years. Herein, a highly durable and efficient carbide‐based bifunctional catalyst consisting of iron–molybdenum carbide (Fe3Mo3C) and IrMn nanoalloys is demonstratred. This carbide is chemically stable in alkaline media and over the potential range of an air cathode. More importantly, Fe3Mo3C is very active for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in alkaline media. Fe3Mo3C supported IrMn as a bifunictional catalysts exhibits superior catalytic performance than the state of the art ORR catalyst (Pt/C) and the oxygen evolution reaction catalyst (Ir/C). IrMn/Fe3Mo3C enables Zn–air batteries to achieve long‐term cycling performance over 200 h with high efficiency. The extraordinarily high performance of IrMn/Fe3Mo3C bifunictional catalyst provides a very promising alternative to the conventional Pt/C and Ir/C catalyst for an air cathode in alkaline electrolyte.
Metal-free carbon materials have emerged as cost-effective and high-performance catalysts for the production of hydrogen peroxide (H 2 O 2 ) through the two-electron oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). Here, we show that 3D crumpled graphene with controlled oxygen and defect configurations significantly improves the electrocatalytic production of H 2 O 2 . The crumpled graphene electrocatalyst with optimal defect structures and oxygen functional groups exhibits outstanding H 2 O 2 selectivity of 92–100% in a wide potential window of 0.05–0.7 V vs. reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE) and a high mass activity of 158 A g −1 at 0.65 V vs. RHE in alkaline media. In addition, the crumpled graphene catalyst showed an excellent H 2 O 2 production rate of 473.9 mmol gcat −1 h −1 and stability over 46 h at 0.4 V vs. RHE. Moreover, density functional theory calculations revealed the role of the functional groups and defect sites in the two-electron ORR pathway through the scaling relation between OOH and O adsorption strengths. These results establish a structure-mechanism-performance relationship of functionalized carbon catalysts for the effective production of H 2 O 2 .