Atomic-level tuning of Co–N–C catalyst for high-performance electrochemical H2O2 production

Euiyeon Jung, Heejong Shin, Byoung Hoon Lee, Vladimir Efremov, Suhyeong Lee, Hyeon Seok Lee, Jiheon Kim, Wytse Hooch Antink, Subin Park, Kug Seung Lee, Sung Pyo Cho, Jong Suk Yoo, Yung Eun Sung, Taeghwan Hyeon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

732 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite the growing demand for hydrogen peroxide it is almost exclusively manufactured by the energy-intensive anthraquinone process. Alternatively, H2O2 can be produced electrochemically via the two-electron oxygen reduction reaction, although the performance of the state-of-the-art electrocatalysts is insufficient to meet the demands for industrialization. Interestingly, guided by first-principles calculations, we found that the catalytic properties of the Co–N4 moiety can be tailored by fine-tuning its surrounding atomic configuration to resemble the structure-dependent catalytic properties of metalloenzymes. Using this principle, we designed and synthesized a single-atom electrocatalyst that comprises an optimized Co–N4 moiety incorporated in nitrogen-doped graphene for H2O2 production and exhibits a kinetic current density of 2.8 mA cm−2 (at 0.65 V versus the reversible hydrogen electrode) and a mass activity of 155 A g−1 (at 0.65 V versus the reversible hydrogen electrode) with negligible activity loss over 110 hours.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)436-442
Number of pages7
JournalNature Materials
Volume19
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2020

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