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Nano Research

Article Title

Single copper sites dispersed on hierarchically porous carbon for improving oxygen reduction reaction towards zinc-air battery

Authors

Wenjie Wu, State Key Laboratory of Heavy Oil Processing, College of New Energy and Materials, China University of Petroleum, Beijing 102249, China
Yan Liu, Key Laboratory of Functional Molecular Solids, Ministry of Education, Anhui Province Key Laboratory of Optoelectric Materials Science and Technology and Anhui Laboratory of Molecule-Based Materials, Anhui Normal University, Wuhu 241002, China
Dong Liu, State key Lab of Organic-Inorganic Composites, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, China
Wenxing Chen, Beijing Key Laboratory of Construction Tailorable Advanced Functional Materials and Green Applications, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China
Zhaoyi Song, State Key Laboratory of Heavy Oil Processing, College of New Energy and Materials, China University of Petroleum, Beijing 102249, China
Ximin Wang, State Key Laboratory of Heavy Oil Processing, College of New Energy and Materials, China University of Petroleum, Beijing 102249, China
Yamin Zheng, Key Laboratory of Functional Molecular Solids, Ministry of Education, Anhui Province Key Laboratory of Optoelectric Materials Science and Technology and Anhui Laboratory of Molecule-Based Materials, Anhui Normal University, Wuhu 241002, China
Ning Lu, Key Laboratory of Functional Molecular Solids, Ministry of Education, Anhui Province Key Laboratory of Optoelectric Materials Science and Technology and Anhui Laboratory of Molecule-Based Materials, Anhui Normal University, Wuhu 241002, China
Chunxia Wang, State Key Laboratory of Heavy Oil Processing, College of New Energy and Materials, China University of Petroleum, Beijing 102249, China
Junjie Mao, Key Laboratory of Functional Molecular Solids, Ministry of Education, Anhui Province Key Laboratory of Optoelectric Materials Science and Technology and Anhui Laboratory of Molecule-Based Materials, Anhui Normal University, Wuhu 241002, China
Yadong Li, Department of Chemistry, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China

Keywords

single atomic sites catalysts, nitrogen-doped carbon materials, oxygen reduction reaction, carbon defect, non-noble metal

Abstract

The demand for high-performance non-precious-metal electrocatalysts to replace the noble metal-based catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) is intensively increasing. Herein, single-atomic copper sites supported on N-doped three-dimensional hierarchically porous carbon catalyst (Cu1/NC) was prepared by coordination pyrolysis strategy. Remarkably, the Cu1/NC-900 catalyst not only exhibits excellent ORR performance with a half-wave potential of 0.894 V (vs. RHE) in alkaline media, outperforming those of commercial Pt/C (0.851 V) and Cu nanoparticles anchored on N-doped porous carbon (CuNPs/NC-900), but also demonstrates high stability and methanol tolerance. Moreover, the Cu1/NC-900 based Zn-air battery exhibits higher power density, rechargeability and cyclic stability than the one based on Pt/C. Both experimental and theoretical investigations demonstrated that the excellent performance of the as-obtained Cu1/NC-900 could be attributed to the synergistic effect between copper coordinated by three N atoms active sites and the neighbouring carbon defect, resulting in elevated Cu d-band centers of Cu atoms and facilitating intermediate desorption for ORR process. This study may lead towards the development of highly efficient non-noble metal catalysts for applications in electrochemical energy conversion.

Publisher

Tsinghua University Press

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