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Title: Synergistic Effect of Nitrogen in Cobalt Nitride and Nitrogen-Doped Hollow Carbon Spheres for Oxygen Reduction Reaction

The need for inexpensive and high-activity oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) electrocatalysts has attracted considerable research interest over the past years. Here we report a novel hybrid that contains cobalt nitride/nitrogen-rich hollow carbon spheres (CoxN/NHCS) as a high-performance catalyst for ORR. The CoxN nanoparticles were uniformly dispersed and confined in the hollow NHCS shell. The performance of the resulting CoxN/NHCS hybrid was comparable with that of a commercial Pt/C at the same catalyst loading toward ORR, but the mass activity of the former was 5.7 times better than that of the latter. The nitrogen in both CoxN and NHCS, especially CoxN, could weaken the adsorption of reaction intermediates (O and OOH), which follows the favourable reaction pathway on CoxN/NHCS according to the DFT-calculated Gibbs free energy diagrams. Our results demonstrated a new strategy for designing and developing inexpensive, non-precious metal electrocatalysts for next-generation fuels. The authors acknowledge the financial support from the National Basic Research Program (973 program, No. 2013CB733501) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 21306169, 21101137, 21136001, 21176221 and 91334013). Dr. D. Mei is supported by the US Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Chemical Sciences, Geosciences &more » Biosciences. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is a multiprogram national laboratory operated for DOE by Battelle. Computing time was granted by the grand challenge of computational catalysis of the William R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL). EMSL is a national scientific user facility located at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and sponsored by DOE’s Office of Biological and Environmental Research.« less
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: ChemCatChem, 7(12):1826-1832
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
cobalt nitride; hollow carbon spheres; electrocatalysis; oxygen reduction; fuel cells