Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2017, Vol. 33 ›› Issue (9): 1811-1821.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB201704264

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Cobalt@cobalt Carbide Supported on Nitrogen and Sulfur Co-Doped Carbon: an Efficient Non-Precious Metal Electrocatalyst for Oxygen Reduction Reaction

Hai-Bo SHEN1,Hao JIANG1,Yi-Si LIU1,3,Jia-Yu HAO1,Wen-Zhang LI1,2,4,*(),Jie LI1,*()   

  1. 1 School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Central South University, Changsha 410083, P. R. China
    2 Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory of Efficient and Clean Utilization of Manganese Resources, Central South University, Changsha 410083, P. R. China
    3 Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, University of Western OntarioLondon, Ontario, N6A5B9, Canada
    4 Key Laboratory of Hunan Province for Metallurgy and Material Processing of Rare Metals, Changsha 410083, P. R. China
  • Received:2017-02-20 Published:2017-07-05
  • Contact: Wen-Zhang LI,Jie LI;
  • Supported by:
    the National Nature Science Foundation of China(51474255);the Hunan Provincial Science and Technology Plan Project, China(2016TP1007);the Open Research Fund Program of Key Laboratory of Metallogenic Prediction of Nonferrous Metals and Geological Environment Monitoring, China (Central South University), Ministry of Education, the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities of Central South University, China


Development of high-efficiency and low-cost electrocatalysts for large-scale oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) remains a challenge. In this study, we employed melamine, trithiocyanuric acid, and cobaltous nitrate to fabricate a novel ORR electrocatalyst with cobalt and cobalt carbide supported on carbon co-doped with nitrogen and sulfur (hereafter referred to as MTC-0.1-900) by two-step pyrolysis. The MTC-0.1-900 was characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Raman spectroscopy, Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) specific surface area analysis, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The electrochemical performance for ORR was investigated by cyclic voltammetry and linear sweep voltammetry in 0.1 mol·L-1 KOH solutions. The results showed that the onset potential and half-wave potential of MTC-0.1-900 were 29 and 5 mV superior to the commercial Pt/C catalyst, respectively. After 12000 s operation at the potential of -0.3 V (vs Ag/AgCl), the current retention capacities of MTC-0.1-900 and Pt/C were 97.1% and 76.7%, respectively. MTC-0.1-900 also showed better methanol tolerance than Pt/C. These unique properties of MTC-0.1-900 provide us with an alternative for replacing or reducing the use of Pt catalyst in metal-air battery cathode materials.

Key words: Nitrogen and sulfur co-doped carbon, Cobalt@cobalt carbide, Graphitic carbon, Core-shell, Oxygen reduction reaction