2D nanoplate assembled nitrogen doped hollow carbon sphere decorated with Fe3O4 as an efficient electrocatalyst for oxygen reduction reaction and Zn-air batteries

  • Yanqiang LiEmail author
  • Huiyong Huang
  • Siru ChenEmail author
  • Xin Yu
  • Chao Wang
  • Tingli MaEmail author
Research Article


Designing a highly efficient non-precious based oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) electrocatalyst is critical for the commercialization of various sustainable energy storage and conversion devices such as metal-air batteries and fuel cells. Herein, we report a convenient strategy to synthesis Fe3O4 embedded in N doped hollow carbon sphere (NHCS) for ORR. What’s interesting is that the carbon microsphere is composed of two-dimensional (2D) nanoplate that could provide more exposed active sites. The usage of solid ZnO nanowires as zinc source is crucial to obtain this structure. The Fe3O4@NHCS-2 exhibits better catalytic activity and durability than the commercial Pt/C catalyst. Moreover, it further displays high-performance of Zn-air batteries as a cathode electrocatalyst with a high-power density of 133 mW·cm−2 and high specific capacity of 701 mA·h·g−1. The special hollow structure composed 2D nanoplate, high surface area, as well as synergistic effect between the high active Fe3O4 nanoparticles and N-doped matrix endows this outstanding catalytic activity. The work presented here can be easily extended to prepare metal compounds decorated carbon nanomaterials with special structure for a broad range of energy storage and conversion devices.


oxygen reduction reaction Zn-air battery Fe3O4 N doping hollow microsphere 


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This work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51772039), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central University (No. DUT18LK13). The Research Center for Solar Light Energy Conversion, Kyushu Institute of Technology, Japan also supports this work financially.

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2D nanoplate assembled nitrogen doped hollow carbon sphere decorated with Fe3O4 as an efficient electrocatalyst for oxygen reduction reaction and Zn-air batteries


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© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Fine Chemicals, School of Petroleum and Chemical EngineeringDalian University of Technology, Panjin CampusPanjinChina
  2. 2.Graduate School of Life Science and Systems EngineeringKyushu Institute of TechnologyFukuokaJapan
  3. 3.Center for Advanced Materials ResearchZhongyuan University of TechnologyZhengzhouChina

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