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Iron Carbide Nanoparticles Encapsulated in Mesoporous Fe–N-Doped Graphene-Like Carbon Hybrids as Efficient Bifunctional Oxygen Electrocatalysts

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posted on 2015-09-30, 00:00 authored by Hongliang Jiang, Yifan Yao, Yihua Zhu, Yanyan Liu, Yunhe Su, Xiaoling Yang, Chunzhong Li
It is highly crucial and challenging to develop bifunctional oxygen electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction reactions (ORRs) and oxygen evolution reactions (OERs) in rechargeable metal-air batteries and unitized regenerative fuel cells (URFCs). Herein, a facile and cost-effective strategy is developed to prepare mesoporous Fe–N-doped graphene-like carbon architectures with uniform Fe3C nanoparticles encapsulated in graphitic layers (Fe3C@NG) via a one-step solid-state thermal reaction. The optimized Fe3C@NG800-0.2 catalyst shows comparable ORR activity with the state-of-the-art Pt/C catalyst and OER activity with the benchmarking RuO2 catalyst. The oxygen electrode activity parameter ΔE (the criteria for judging the overall catalytic activity of bifunctional electrocatalysts) value for Fe3C@NG800-0.2 is 0.780 V, which surpasses those of Pt/C and RuO2 catalysts as well as those of most nonprecious metal catalysts. Significantly, excellent long-term catalytic durability holds great promise in fields of rechargeable metal-air batteries and URFCs.

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