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Hemoglobin-derived Fe-Nx-S species supported by bamboo-shaped carbon nanotubes as efficient electrocatalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction

DOI: 10.1016/j.carbon.2020.06.064 DOI Help

Authors: Weiming Chen (South China University of Technology) , Xuanli Luo (University of Nottingham) , Sanliang Ling (University of Nottingham) , Yongfang Zhou (South China University of Technology) , Bihan Shen (South China University of Technology) , Thomas J. A. Slater (Diamond Light Source) , Jesum Alves Fernandes (University of Nottingham) , Tingting Lin (South China University of Technology) , Jianshe Wang (Zhengzhou University) , Yi Shen (South China University of Technology; Overseas Expertise Introduction Center for Discipline Innovation of Food Nutrition and Human Health)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Carbon

State: Published (Approved)
Published: June 2020
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 23723 , 17198

Abstract: Herein, we report a facile route to synthesize isolated single iron atoms on nitrogen-sulfur-codoped carbon matrix via a direct pyrolysis process in which hemoglobin, a by-product of the meat industry, was utilized as a precursor for iron, nitrogen and sulfur while bamboo-shaped carbon nanotubes served as a support owing to their excellent conductivity and numerous defects. The resulting metal-nitrogen complexed carbon showed outstanding catalytic performance for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) in alkaline solutions. At an overpotential of 380 mV, the optimal sample yielded a current density of 83.6 mA cm−2, which is 2.5 times that of benchmark IrO2 (32.8 mA cm−2), rendering it as one of the best OER catalysts reported so far. It also showed negligible activity decay in alkaline solutions during long-term durability tests. Control experiments and X-ray absorption fine structure analyses revealed that Fe-Nx species in the samples are the active sites for OER. Further density functional theory calculations indicated that the presence of sulfur in the carbon matrix modified the electronic structures of active species, thereby leading to the superior activity of the sample.

Journal Keywords: Single-site catalysts; Sulfur doping; Fe-Nx; Oxygen evolution reaction; Carbon nanotubes

Subject Areas: Chemistry

Diamond Offline Facilities: Electron Physical Sciences Imaging Centre (ePSIC)
Instruments: B18-Core EXAFS , E01-JEM ARM 200CF

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