Enhancing bifunctionality of CoN nanowires by Mn doping for long-lasting Zn-air batteries

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  • ReceivedFeb 23, 2020
  • AcceptedApr 7, 2020
  • PublishedApr 21, 2020


Funded by

the Singapore MOE AcRF Tier 2 Grant(MOE2017-T2-1-073)

AME Individual Research Grant(A1983c0026)

and Agency for Science


and Research(A*STAR)


This work was supported by the Singapore MOE AcRF Tier 2 Grant (MOE2017-T2-1-073), AME Individual Research Grant (A1983c0026), and Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (A*STAR).

Interest statement

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Contributions statement

These authors contributed equally to this work.


The supporting information is available online at http://chem.scichina.com and http://link.springer.com/journal/11426. The supporting materials are published as submitted, without typesetting or editing. The responsibility for scientific accuracy and content remains entirely with the authors.


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  • Figure 1

    Thermodynamics of the Mn doping effect by first-principle calculation. (a) Optimized atomic configurations of OOH, O, and OH intermediates adsorbed on the active sites (*) in Mn-doped CoN surface. (b) Comparison of partial density of states (PDOS) of Mn-doped CoN and undoped CoN. (c) Free energy diagrams at 1.23 V for ORR on pristine Co3O4, CoN and Mn-doped CoN (color online).

  • Figure 2

    Morphology and characterization of Mn-CoN-1.5. (a) XRD patterns for Co3O4, Mn-Co3O4-1.5 and Mn-CoN-1.5; (b) SEM image of Mn-CoN-1.5; (c) low- and (d) high-magnification TEM images of Mn-CoN-1.5; (e) HAADF-STEM image and the corresponding EDX maps for Co, Mn and N (color online).

  • Figure 3

    Survey analysis by XPS. (a) Survey spectra of CoN, Mn-CoN-1, Mn-CoN-1.5, Mn-CoN-2; high-resolution XPS spectra of Co 2p (b), Mn 2p (c) and N 1s (d) of Mn-Co3O4-1.5 and Mn-CoN-1.5 (color online).

  • Figure 4

    The bifunctional electrocatalysis. LSV curves (a) and Tafel slopes (b) for OER. (c) CV curves in N2-saturated and O2-saturated 0.1 M KOH electrolyte and (d) LSV curves in O2-saturated 0.1 M KOH at 1600 r min−1 for ORR. Stability test of Mn-CoN-1.5 for OER at 10 mA cm−2 (e) and ORR at η1/2 (f) (color online).

  • Figure 5

    Performance of rechargeable ZAB devices. (a) Schematic of the aqueous ZAB using Mn-CoN-1.5 as the air-cathode. (b) Open circuit voltage of Mn-CoN-1.5 and 20% Pt/C cathode ZABs (upper two branches). Also shown (bottom two branches) are discharge curves of the Mn-CoN-1.5 cathode ZAB at the current density of 5 and 20 mA cm−2. (c) Polarization curves and corresponding power-density plots of ZABs using Mn-CoN-1.5 and 20% Pt/C as the air electrode catalysts. (d) Photograph of an electric fan powered by one ZAB (see also Movie S1 in Supporting Information online). (e) Cycling performance of aqueous ZAB at 5 mA cm−2. Insets are selected discharge-recharge profiles at different times. (f) Discharge polarization curve and power-current density curve of flexible quasi-solid-state ZAB (See also Movie S2). (g) Mechanical flexibility and stability tests of the flexible quasi-solid-state ZAB at a charge/discharge current density of 2 mA cm−2. Insets are the photos of the flat and folded state of the device (color online).