Decorating unoxidized-carbon nanotubes with homogeneous Ni-Co spinel nanocrystals show superior performance for oxygen evolution/reduction reactions

Jun Yang, Tsuyohiko Fujigaya, Naotoshi Nakashima

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32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present a new concept for homogeneous spinel nanocrystal-coating on high crystalline pristine-carbon nanotubes (CNTs) for efficient and durable oxygen evolution reaction (OER) and oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). Oxidized CNTs have widely been used to functionalize with metal or metal oxides since the defect sites act as anchoring for metal oxide binding. However, such defects on the tubes cause the decrease in electrical conductivity and stability, leading to lower catalyst performance. In the present study, at first, pristine multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) were wrapped by pyridine-based polybenzimidazole (PyPBI) to which uniform Ni x Co 3-x O 4 nanocrystals were homogeneously deposited by the solvothermal method without damaging the MWNTs, in which PyPBI acted as efficient anchoring sites for the deposition of spinel oxide nanocrystals with ∼5 nm size. The obtained catalyst (MWNT-PyPBI-Ni x Co 3-x O 4) outperformed most state-of-the-art non-precious metal-based bifunctional catalysts; namely, for OER, the potential at 10 mA cm -2 and Tafel slope in 1 M KOH solution were 1.54 V vs. RHE and 42 mV dec -1, respectively. For ORR, the onset and half-wave potentials are 0.918 V and 0.811 V vs. RHE, respectively. Moreover, the MWNT-PyPBI-Ni x Co 3-x O 4 demonstrates an excellent durability for both ORR and OER.

Original languageEnglish
Article number45384
JournalScientific reports
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 30 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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