Bifunctional Oxygen Reduction/Oxygen Evolution Activity of Mixed Fe/Co Oxide Nanoparticles with Variable Fe/Co Ratios Supported on Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes

Elumeeva, K. and Kazakova, M.A. and Morales, D.M. and Medina, D. and Selyutin, A. and Golubtsov, G. and Ivanov, Y. and Kuznetzov, V. and Chuvilin, A. and Antoni, H. and Muhler, M. and Schuhmann, W. and Masa, J.

Volume: 11 Pages: 1204-1214
DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201702381
Published: 2018

A facile strategy is reported for the synthesis of Fe/Co mixed metal oxide nanoparticles supported on, and embedded inside, high purity oxidized multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) of narrow diameter distribution as effective bifunctional catalysts able to reversibly drive the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) and the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in alkaline solutions. Variation of the Fe/Co ratio resulted in a pronounced trend in the bifunctional ORR/OER activity. Controlled synthesis and in-depth characterization enabled the identification of an optimal Fe/Co composition, which afforded a low OER/OER reversible overvoltage of only 0.831 V, taking the OER at 10 mA cm−2 and the ORR at −1 mA cm−2. Importantly, the optimal catalyst with a Fe/Co ratio of 2:3 exhibited very promising long-term stability with no evident change in the potential for both the ORR and the OER after 400 charge/discharge (OER/ORR) cycles at 15 mA cm−2 in 6 m KOH. Moreover, detailed investigation of the structure, size, and phase composition of the mixed Fe/Co oxide nanoparticles, as well as their localization (inside of or on the surface of the MWCNTs) revealed insight of the possible contribution of the individual catalyst components and their synergistic interaction in the catalysis. © 2018 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

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