Design of active and stable oxygen reduction reaction catalysts by embedding CoxOy nanoparticles into nitrogen-doped carbon
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The oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) is essential in research pertaining to life science and energy. In applications, platinum-based catalysts give ideal reactivity, but, in practice, are often subject to high costs and poor stability. Some cost-efficient transition metal oxides have exhibited excellent ORR reactivity, but the stability and durability of such alternative catalyst materials pose serious challenges. Here, we present a facile method to fabricate uniform CoxOy nanoparticles and embed them into N-doped carbon, which results in a composite of extraordinary stability and durability, while maintaining its high reactivity. The half-wave potential shows a negative shift of only 21 mV after 10,000 cycles, only one third of that observed for Pt/C (63 mV). Furthermore, after 100,000 s testing at a constant potential, the current decreases by only 17%, significantly less than for Pt/C (35%). The exceptional stability and durability results from the system architecture, which comprises a thin carbon shell that prevents agglomeration of the CoxOy nanoparticles and their detaching from the substrate.
Keywordsatomic layer deposition cobalt oxide polydopamine oxygen reduction reaction
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