Single copper sites dispersed on hierarchically porous carbon for improving oxygen reduction reaction towards zinc-air battery
single atomic sites catalysts, nitrogen-doped carbon materials, oxygen reduction reaction, carbon defect, non-noble metal
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.
Tsinghua University Press
Wenjie Wu, Yan Liu, Dong Liu, Wenxing Chen, Zhaoyi Song, Ximin Wang, Yamin Zheng, Ning Lu, Chunxia Wang, Junjie Mao, Yadong Li. Single copper sites dispersed on hierarchically porous carbon for improving oxygen reduction reaction towards zinc-air battery. Nano Research 2021, 14(4): 998-1003.