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Three-Dimensional Graphene-Supported Ni₃Fe/Co₉S₈ Composites: Rational Design and Active for Oxygen Reversible Electrocatalysis

Hu, Xuejiao, Huang, Tan, Tang, Yawen, Fu, Gengtao, Lee, Jong-Min
ACS applied materials & interfaces 2019 v.11 no.4 pp. 4028-4036
active sites, aerogels, catalysts, electrodes, electrons, graphene, graphene oxide, oxygen, oxygen production, sulfides
The development of low-cost and efficient electrocatalysts with a bicomponent active surface for reversible oxygen electrode reactions is highly desirable and challenging. Herein, we develop an effective calcination-hydrothermal approach to fabricate graphene aerogel-anchored Ni₃Fe–Co₉S₈ bifunctional electrocatalyst (Ni₃Fe–Co₉S₈/rGO). The mutually beneficial Ni₃Fe–Co₉S₈ bifunctional active components efficiently balance the performance of oxygen reduction and oxygen evolution reactions (ORR/OER), in which Co₉S₈ promotes the ORR and Ni₃Fe facilitates the OER. This balance behavior has an obvious advantage over that of monocomponent Ni₃Fe/rGO and Co₉S₈/rGO catalysts. Meanwhile, the additional synergy between porous rGO aerogels and Ni₃Fe–Co₉S₈ endows the composite with more exposed active sites, faster electrons/ions transport rate, and better structural stability. Benefiting from the reasonable material selection and structural design, the Ni₃Fe–Co₉S₈/rGO exhibits not only outstanding ORR activity with the high onset- and half-wave potentials (Eₒₙₛₑₜ = 0.91 V and E₁/₂ = 0.80 V) but also satisfactory OER activity with a low overpotential at 10 mA cm–² (0.39 V). Moreover, rechargeable Zn–air cells equipped with Ni₃Fe–Co₉S₈/rGO exhibit excellent rechargeability and a fast dynamic response.