Atomically Dispersed Co2–N6 and Fe–N4 Costructures Boost Oxygen Reduction Reaction in Both Alkaline and Acidic Media

Zhe Wang, Xiaoyan Jin, Chao Zhu, Yipu Liu, Hua Tan, Ruiqi Ku, Yongqi Zhang, Liujiang Zhou, Zheng Liu, Seong Ju Hwang, Hong Jin Fan

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92 Citations (Scopus)


Polynary transition-metal atom catalysts are promising to supersede platinum (Pt)-based catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). Regulating the local configuration of atomic catalysts is the key to catalyst performance enhancement. Different from the previously reported single-atom or dual-atom configurations, a new type of ternary-atom catalyst, which consists of atomically dispersed, nitrogen-coordinated Co–Co dimers, and Fe single sites (i.e., Co2–N6 and Fe–N4 structures) that are coanchored on highly graphitized carbon supports is developed. This unique atomic ORR catalyst outperforms the catalysts with only Co2–N6 or Fe–N4 sites in both alkaline and acid conditions. Density functional theory calculations clearly unravels the synergistic effect of the Co2–N6 and Fe–N4 sites, which can induce higher filling degree of Fe–d orbitals and favors the binding capability to *OH intermediates (the rate determining step). This ternary-atom catalyst may be a promising alternative to Pt to drive the cathodic ORR in zinc–air batteries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2104718
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number49
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec 9

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
H.J.F. thanks the financial support from Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (A*STAR), Singapore by AME Individual Research Grants (No. A1983c0026). S.‐J.H. thanks the financial support from the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIP) (No. NRF‐2020R1A2C3008671). The experiments at PAL were supported in part by MOST and POSTECH.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Wiley-VCH GmbH.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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