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Novel MOF‐Derived Co@N‐C Bifunctional Catalysts for Highly Efficient Zn–Air Batteries and Water Splitting

Abstract

Metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) and MOF‐derived materials have recently attracted considerable interest as alternatives to noble‐metal electrocatalysts. Herein, the rational design and synthesis of a new class of Co@N‐C materials (C‐MOF‐C2‐T) from a pair of enantiotopic chiral 3D MOFs by pyrolysis at temperature T is reported. The newly developed C‐MOF‐C2‐900 with a unique 3D hierarchical rodlike structure, consisting of homogeneously distributed cobalt nanoparticles encapsulated by partially graphitized N‐doped carbon rings along the rod length, exhibits higher electrocatalytic activities for oxygen reduction and oxygen evolution reactions (ORR and OER) than that of commercial Pt/C and RuO2, respectively. Primary Zn–air batteries based on C‐MOF‐900 for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) operated at a discharge potential of 1.30 V with a specific capacity of 741 mA h gZn–1 under 10 mA cm–2. Rechargeable Zn–air batteries based on C‐MOF‐C2‐900 as an ORR and OER bifunctional catalyst exhibit initial charge and discharge potentials at 1.81 and 1.28 V (2 mA cm–2), along with an excellent cycling stability with no increase in polarization even after 120 h – outperform their counterparts based on noble‐metal‐based air electrodes. The resultant rechargeable Zn–air batteries are used to efficiently power electrochemical water‐splitting systems, demonstrating promising potential as integrated green energy systems for practical applications.

A Co@N‐C material, derived from new chiral metal–organic frameworks, exhibits excellent bifunctional electrocatalytic activities toward both oxygen reduction and oxygen evolution reactions, along with remarkable performance for primary/rechargeable Zn–air batteries (powering water‐splitting systems), outperforming their counterparts based on Pt/C and Pt/C + RuO2, respectively.

Authors:   Mingdao Zhang, Quanbin Dai, Hegen Zheng, Mindong Chen, Liming Dai
Journal:   Advanced Materials
Year:   2018
Pages:   n/a
DOI:   10.1002/adma.201705431
Publication date:   19-Jan-2018
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