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Low-Cost Rapid Template-Free Synthesis of Nanoscale Zinc Spinels for Energy Storage and Electrocatalytic Applications

Baby, A and Senthilkumar, B and Barpanda, P (2019) Low-Cost Rapid Template-Free Synthesis of Nanoscale Zinc Spinels for Energy Storage and Electrocatalytic Applications. In: ACS Applied Energy Materials, 2 (5). pp. 3211-3219.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1021/acsaem.9b00054


Spinels form an interesting class of compounds, finding applications in metal-ion batteries and as catalysts for metal-air batteries and fuel cells. Here, we report a fast, template-free solution combustion method to synthesize nanoscale zinc spinels for applications as cathodes in low-cost aqueous zinc-ion batteries and oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalysts. It leads to the formation of phase-pure spinels with near spherical nanoscale morphology. Three spinels-ZnCo2O4 (ZCO), ZnMn2O4 (ZMO), and ZnMnCoO4 (ZMCO)-were investigated. ZMO and, for the first time, ZMCO were observed to show reversible Zn (de)insertion involving Mn4+/Mn3+ redox couple with a first discharge capacity of 109.4 mAh/g (i.e., >99 of theoretical capacity). Further, these Zn-based spinels showed appreciable oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) electrocatalytic activity. The ORR activity in alkaline solution was characterized by cyclic voltammetry (CV) and linear sweep voltammetry (LSV) using a rotating disk electrode (RDE) and was observed to be comparable to Pt/C with similar chronoamperometric stability. This enhanced ORR activity can be rooted to the optimal tuning of Co3+-O bond strength because of the presence of Mn3+. This work presents a robust synthesis route to prepare ZnMnCoO4 spinel acting as an economic cathode material for large-scale Zn-ion batteries for grid storage applications as well as an efficient and stable alternate ORR catalyst in alkaline solution.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: ACS Applied Energy Materials
Publisher: American Chemical Society
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to American Chemical Society.
Keywords: Cathodes; Combustion synthesis; Costs; Cyclic voltammetry; Electrocatalysts; Electrolytic reduction; Fuel cells; Manganese compounds; Metal ions; Metal-air batteries; Metals; Nanotechnology; Oxygen; Zinc, Electrocatalytic activity; First discharge capacities; Ion batteries; Linear sweep voltammetry; Nanoscale morphology; Oxygen reduction reaction; Rotating disk electrodes; spinel, Zinc compounds
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Central Animal Facility (Formerly Primate Research Laboratory)
Division of Chemical Sciences > Materials Research Centre
Date Deposited: 27 Dec 2022 04:49
Last Modified: 27 Dec 2022 04:49
URI: https://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/78560

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