−60 °C solution synthesis of atomically dispersed cobalt electrocatalyst with superior performance

Kai Huang, Le Zhang, Ting Xu, Hehe Wei, Ruoyu Zhang, Xiaoyuan Zhang (Corresponding author), Binghui Ge (Corresponding author), Ming Lei, Jing-Yuan Ma, Li-Min Liu (Corresponding author), Hui Wu (Corresponding author)

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132 Citations (Scopus)
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Temperature can govern morphologies, structures and properties of products from synthesis in solution. A reaction in solution at low temperature may result in different materials than at higher temperature due to thermodynamics and kinetics of nuclei formation. Here, we report a low-temperature solution synthesis of atomically dispersed cobalt in a catalyst with superior performance. By using a water/alcohol mixed solvent with low freezing point, liquid-phase reduction of a cobalt precursor with hydrazine hydrate is realized at −60 °C. A higher energy barrier and a sluggish nucleation rate are achieved to suppress nuclei formation; thus atomically dispersed cobalt is successfully obtained in a catalyst for oxygen reduction with electrochemical performance superior to that of a Pt/C catalyst. Furthermore, the atomically dispersed cobalt catalyst is applied in a microbial fuel cell to obtain a high maximum power density (2550 ± 60 mW m−2) and no current drop upon operation for 820 h
Original languageEnglish
Article number606
Number of pages10
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes


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