Cobalt metalloid and polybenzoxazine derived composites for bifunctional oxygen electrocatalysis

Barwe, S. and Andronescu, C. and Engels, R. and Conzuelo, F. and Seisel, S. and Wilde, P. and Chen, Y.-T. and Masa, J. and Schuhmann, W.

Volume: 297 Pages: 1042-1051
DOI: 10.1016/j.electacta.2018.12.047
Published: 2019

The development of bifunctional oxygen electrodes is a key factor for the envisaged application of rechargeable metal-air batteries. In this work, we present a simple procedure based on pyrolysis of polybenzoxazine/metal metalloid nanoparticles composites into efficient bifunctional oxygen reduction and oxygen evolution electrocatalysts. This procedure generates nitrogen-doped carbon with embedded metal metalloid nanoparticles exhibiting high activity towards both, oxygen reduction and oxygen evolution, in 0.1 M KOH with a roundtrip voltage of as low as 0.81 V. Koutecký-Levich analysis coupled with scanning electrochemical microscopy reveals that oxygen is preferentially reduced in a 4e− transfer pathway to hydroxide rather than to hydrogen peroxide. Furthermore, the polybenzoxazine derived carbon matrix allows for stable catalyst fixation on the electrode surface, resulting in unattenuated activity during continuous alternate polarisation between oxygen evolution at 10 mA cm−2 and oxygen reduction at −1.0 mA cm−2. © 2018 Elsevier Ltd

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