Hierarchically mesoporous nickel-iron nitride as a cost-efficient and highly durable electrocatalyst for Zn-air battery

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Abstract

Rechargeable Zn-air battery is largely limited by the lack of low-cost and highly efficient bifunctional oxygen catalysts for both oxygen evolution and reduction reactions (OER and ORR). Herein, we report a promising bifunctional electrocatalyst, mesoporous nickel-iron nitride (Ni 3 FeN), which was synthesized by thermal ammonalysis of hierarchal NiFe layered double hydroxide microspheres. Different from the widely studied carbon/oxide composite catalysts, this metallic nitride does not need carbon as a conducting support, thus avoiding the issue of carbon corrosion at high potentials. The catalysts provide outstanding bifunctional performance with a low overpotential (0.355 V) at 10 mA cm −2 , a low Tafel slope (70 mV dec −1 ) for OER, and a positive half-wave potential (0.78 V) for ORR under alkaline solution. More importantly, it delivers a lower voltage gap between charge and discharge and a better stability over 300 cycles compared to that of the more costly RuO 2 air-cathode.

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Fu, G., Cui, Z., Chen, Y., Xu, L., Tang, Y., & Goodenough, J. B. (2017). Hierarchically mesoporous nickel-iron nitride as a cost-efficient and highly durable electrocatalyst for Zn-air battery. Nano Energy, 39, 77–85. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nanoen.2017.06.029

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