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Tuning cobalt eg occupation of Co-NCNT by manipulation of crystallinity facilitates more efficient oxygen evolution and reduction

: Yuan, W.; Wang, Y.; Chernev, P.; Klingan, K.; Reza Mohammadi, M.; Loos, S.; Pasquini, C.; Kubella, P.; Jiang, S.; Cui, Z.; Zhu, S.; Li, Z.; Wu, S.; Dau, H.; Zhang, J.; Liang, Y.


Journal of catalysis 383 (2020), pp.221-229
ISSN: 0021-9517
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IFAM, Institutsteil Pulvermetallurgie und Verbundwerkstoffe Dresden ()

Co encapsulated in N-doped carbon nanotubes (Co-NCNT) catalysts are of high interest as bifunctional electrocatalyst material for both efficient oxygen evolution and reduction (OER/ORR) in applications of rechargeable metal-air batteries. Up to now, the role played by the functional metal species in OER/ORR is still insufficiently understood. The main focus of our research is to shed light on the mechanistic role of the Co species that serve as active sites in the bi-functional Co-NCNT catalysts. It is found that S700 exhibits an outstanding OER/ORR activity. We thus hypothesize that CoII and CoIII clusters predominately function as active sites in the OER and ORR processes, respectively. Furthermore, OER/ORR activity for Co-NCNT catalyst primarily correlates to eg occupation. A near-unity occupancy of the eg orbital of S700 is revealed to be the cause for the maximum intrinsic OER/ORR activity, which provides guidelines for the design of highly active catalysts.