Efficient and Durable Bifunctional Oxygen Catalysts Based on NiFeO@MnOx Core−Shell Structures for Rechargeable Zn−Air Batteries
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Rechargeable Zn-air battery is limited by the sluggish kinetics and poor durability of the oxygen catalysts. In this Research Article, a new bifunctional oxygen catalyst has been developed through embedding the ultrafine NiFeO nanoparticles (NPs) in a porous amorphous MnOx layer, in which the NiFeO-core contributes to the high activity for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) and the amorphous MnOx-shell functions as active phase for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), promoted by the synergistic effect between the NiFeO core and MnOx shell. The synergistic effect is related to the electron drawing of NiFeO core from MnOx shell, which decreases the affinity and adsorption energy of oxygen on MnOx shell and significantly increases the kinetics of ORR. The electrocatalytic activity and durability of NiFeO@MnOx depends strongly on the NiFeO:MnOx ratio. NiFeO@MnOx with NiFeO:MnOx weight ratio of 1:0.8 shows the best performance for reversible ORR and OER, with a potential gap (?E) of 0.792 V to achieve a current density of 3 mA cm-2 for ORR (EORR=3) and 5 mA cm-2 for OER (EOER=5) in 0.1 M KOH solution. The high activity of the NiFeO@MnOx(1:0.8) has been demonstrated in a Zn-air battery. Zn-air battery fabricated using the NiFeO@MnOx(1:0.8) oxygen electrode shows similar initial performance with that of Pt-Ir/C oxygen electrode but a much better durability under charge and discharge cycles as the result of the structure confinement effect of amorphous MnOx. The results demonstrate NiFeO@MnOx as an effective bifunctional oxygen catalysts for rechargeable metal-air batteries. © 2017 American Chemical Society.
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