Recently, Professor Ren Xiangzhong and his research group from the School of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Shenzhen University published a research article entitled “Rational Design of Positive-Hexagon-Shaped Two-Dimensional ZIF-derived Materials as Improved Bifunctional Oxygen Electrocatalysts for Use as Long-Lasting Rechargeable Zn–Air Batteries” in international top journal Applied Catalysis B: Environmental (JCR Q1, impact factor 14.229). Guan Yi, a master student from the research group, is the first author of the paper. Professor Ren Xiangzhong and Associate Professor Li Yongliang are the corresponding authors.
In the paper, a bottom-up method, i.e., a surfactant-assisted synthetic method to synthesize a novel dual-metal (Co/Zn) zeolitic-imidazolate framework (ZIF) that could maintain its positive-hexagon-shaped morphology after high-temperature thermal treatment, has been developed. As a bifunctional electrocatalyst, the Co nanoparticles encapsulated into both nitrogen-doped positive-hexagon-shaped carbon nanosheets and carbon nanotubes distributed over the nanosheet surface (Co-N-PHCNTs) show excellent electrocatalytic performance, superior to that of state-of-the-art benchmark noble-metal electrocatalysts. Remarkably, in a practical demonstration, the Co-N-PHCNTs serve as bifunctional air electrodes for Zn–air batteries, exhibiting a high peak power density of≈125.41 mW cm−2 at a current density of≈130 mA cm−2 with an extraordinary charge-discharge cyclability of over 673 h at 5 mA cm−2. This strategy not only provides guidance for the synthesis of 2D ZIF-derived materials but also for other 2D materials in cross-cutting applications.
The work was supported by the National Natural Science Fund and the Science and Technology Innovation Commission of Shenzhen.
Link to the paper:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apcatb.2019.117871