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Xu Li’s Group of JSU Published the Latest Work in Advanced Functional Materials
2022-06-02 15:49  

Recently, Assoc. Researcher Xu Li and her group published the latest research work titled Non-covalent Interaction of Atomically Dispersed Cu and Zn Pair Sites for Efficient Oxygen Reduction Reaction (DOI: 10.1002/adfm.202203471) online in Advanced Functional Materials (IF: 18.808). Jiangsu University (JSU) is the first completed unit of this work. Deng Daijie is the first author. Assoc. Researcher Xu Li and Prof. Li Henan are the corresponding authors.

Dual-single-atom catalysts with synergistic effect of adjacent atomic metal sites show a great potential for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). However, this discussion of long-range electron interactions between bimetallic atoms of electrocatalysts is still in the infancy. Thus, the heteronuclear electrocatalyst ((Zn, Cu)−NC) with synergistic effect of adjacent Cu and Zn sites was synthesized using the dynamical synthetic strategy. DFT calculations reveal that (Zn, Cu)−NC can highly activate O2 molecule via the non-covalent interaction between Zn and Cu pairs, providing the more effective overlap between the metal 3d orbitals and O 2p orbital via the bridge adsorption. Therefore, the ORR activity is optimized with the improvement of the adsorption configuration and adsorption energy of O2. The (Zn, Cu)−NC displays remarkable ORR performance with a half-wave potential of 0.88 V (vs. RHE). Besides, both liquid and quasi-solid zinc−air batteries assembled with (Zn, Cu)−NC generate higher power density, specific capacity and more excellent stable than that of 20 wt% Pt/C-based batteries. This research proposes a facile synthetic strategy to construct single-atom catalysts and presents an insightful understanding of the non-covalent interplay between heteronuclear metal atoms in dualatom catalysts.
The research work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province, Six Talent Peaks Project in Jiangsu Province, High-tech Research Key laboratory of Zhenjiang, a Project Funded by the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions.

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