Frontier Research Institute for Interdisciplinary Sciences
Tohoku University


Single-Atom Catalysts Make Better Zinc-Air Batteries

Results published in "Nanoscale" on June 28, 2021.


Downsizing particles into the extreme of single atoms can maximize the utilization efficiency of elements and bring about new chemical properties. For this reason, catalysts in the form of single atoms, termed single-atom catalysts, have been widely explored in recent years to improve the efficiency and selectivity of catalytic reactions.
A joint team consisting of assistant professor Jiuhui Han at FRIS, Professor Pan Liu at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China), and Professor Mingwei Chen at Johns Hopkins University (US) has developed a single-atom catalyst of 3D nanoporous graphene co-anchored with nickel and copper atoms. Due to the synergistic effect of the Cu and Ni single atoms in a nitrogen-doped graphene matrix, this material exhibits exceptional catalytic activity toward the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). The rechargeable Zinc-air batteries using this single-atom catalyst as the air electrode show excellent energy efficiency, large power density, and high cycling stability. This study may pave an efficient avenue of designing highly durable single-atom ORR catalysts for metal-air batteries.

This work was published in Nanoscale on June 28, 2021.

Publication Details
Yongtai Cheng, Haofei Wu, Jiuhui Han, Siying Zhong, Senhe Huang, Shufen Chu, Shuangxi Song, Kolan Madhav Reddy, Xiaodong Wang, Shao-Yi Wu, Xiaodong Zhuang, Isaac Johnson, Pan Liu, and Mingwei Chen. “Atomic Ni and Cu co-anchored 3D nanoporous graphene as an efficient oxygen reduction electrocatalyst for zinc-air batteries”, Nanosclae, 2021, doi: 10.1039/D1NR01612A!divAbstract