Robust wrinkled MoS2/N-C bifunctional electrocatalysts interfaced with single Fe atoms for wearable zinc-air batteries

Yan Yan, Shuang Liang, Xiang Wang, Mingyue Zhang, Shu Meng Hao, Xun Cui, Zhiwei Li, Zhiqun Lin

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122 Scopus citations


The ability to create highly efficient and stable bifunctional electrocatalysts, capable of oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and oxygen evolution reaction (OER) in the same electrolyte, represents an important endeavor toward high-performance zinc-air batteries (ZABs). Herein, we report a facile strategy for crafting wrinkled MoS2/N-doped carbon core/shell nanospheres interfaced with single Fe atoms (denoted MoS2@Fe-N-C) as superior ORR/OER bifunctional electrocatalysts for robust wearable ZABs with a high capacity and outstanding cycling stability. Specifically, the highly crumpled MoS2 nanosphere core is wrapped with a layer of single-Fe-atom-impregnated, N-doped carbon shell (i.e., Fe-N-C shell with well-dispersed FeN4 sites). Intriguingly, MoS2@Fe-N-C nanospheres manifest an ORR half-wave potential of 0.84 V and an OER overpotential of 360 mV at 10 mA·cm−2. More importantly, density functional theory calculations reveal the lowered energy barriers for both ORR and OER, accounting for marked enhanced catalytic performance of MoS2@Fe-N-C nanospheres. Remarkably, wearable ZABs assembled by capitalizing on MoS2@Fe-N-C nanospheres as an air electrode with an ultralow area loading (i.e., 0.25 mg·cm−2) display excellent stability against deformation, high special capacity (i.e., 442 mAh·g−1Zn), excellent power density (i.e., 78 mW·cm−2) and attractive cycling stability (e.g., 50 cycles at current density of 5 mA·cm−2). This study provides a platform to rationally design single-atom-interfaced core/shell bifunctional electrocatalysts for efficient metal-air batteries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number118 No. 40 e2110036118
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number40
StatePublished - 5 Oct 2021

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  • Bifunctional electrocatalysts
  • MoS nanospheres
  • Single Fe atoms
  • Zinc-air batteries


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