Nano Research

Article Title

Active catalysts based on cobalt oxide@cobalt/N-C nanocomposites for oxygen reduction reaction in alkaline solutions


oxygen reduction reaction, electrocatalysis, CoO, Co/N–C


Over the past few years, electrocatalysis for the oxygen reduction reaction in alkaline solutions has undergone tremendous advances, and non-precious metal catalysts are of prime interest. In this study, we present a highly promising CoO@Co/N–C (where N–C represents a N-doped carbon material) catalyst, achieving an onset potential of 0.99 V (versus the reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE)) and a limiting current density of 7.07 mA·cm–2 (at 0.3 V versus RHE) at a rotation rate of 2,500 rpm in an O2-saturated 0.1 M KOH solution, comparable to a commercial Pt/C catalyst. The H2–O2 alkaline fuel cell test of CoO@Co/N–C as the cathode reveals a maximum power density of 237 mW·cm–2. Detailed investigation clarifies that a synergistic effect, induced by C–N, Co–N–C, and CoO/Co moieties, is responsible for the bulk of the gain in catalytic activity

Graphical Abstract


Tsinghua University Press