Nano Research

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 97–107 | Cite as

Design of active and stable oxygen reduction reaction catalysts by embedding CoxOy nanoparticles into nitrogen-doped carbon

  • Fan Yang
  • Mikel Abadia
  • Chaoqiu Chen
  • Weike Wang
  • Le Li
  • Lianbing Zhang
  • Celia Rogero
  • Andrey Chuvilin
  • Mato Knez
Research Article


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.


atomic layer deposition cobalt oxide polydopamine oxygen reduction reaction 


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Design of active and stable oxygen reduction reaction catalysts by embedding CoxOy nanoparticles into nitrogen-doped carbon


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Copyright information

© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fan Yang
    • 1
  • Mikel Abadia
    • 2
  • Chaoqiu Chen
    • 1
  • Weike Wang
    • 1
  • Le Li
    • 1
  • Lianbing Zhang
    • 3
  • Celia Rogero
    • 2
    • 4
  • Andrey Chuvilin
    • 1
    • 5
  • Mato Knez
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.CIC nanoGUNE ConsoliderDonostia-San SebastianSpain
  2. 2.Centro de Física de Materials CFM/MPC (CSIC-UPV/EHU)Donostia-San SebastianSpain
  3. 3.School of Life SciencesNorthwestern Polytechnical UniversityXi’anChina
  4. 4.Donostia International Physics Center (DIPC)Donostia-San SebastianSpain
  5. 5.IKERBASQUEBasque Foundation for ScienceBilbaoSpain

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