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The rational design of earth-abundant catalysts with excellent water splitting activities is important to obtain clean fuels for sustainable energy devices. In this study, mixed transition metal oxide nanoparticles encapsulated in nitrogendoped carbon (denoted as AB2O4@NC) were developed using a one-pot protocol, wherein a metal–organic complex was adopted as the precursor. As a proof of concept, MnCo2O4@NC was used as an electrocatalyst for water oxidation, and demonstrated an outstanding electrocatalytic activity with low overpotential to achieve a current density of 10 mA·cm-1 (η 10 = 287 mV), small Tafel slope (55 mV·dec-1), and high stability (96% retention after 20 h). The excellent electrochemical performance benefited from the synergistic effects of the MnCo2O4 nanoparticles and nitrogen-doped carbon, as well as the assembled mesoporous nanowire structure. Finally, a highly stable all-solid-state supercapacitor based on MnCo2O4@NC was demonstrated (1.5% decay after 10, 000 cycles).

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Publication history

Received: 08 December 2015
Revised: 17 January 2016
Accepted: 20 January 2016
Published: 29 September 2016
Issue date: May 2016

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© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgements

The project is supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (No. 2014CB660808), Jiangsu Provincial Founds for Distinguished Young Scholars (No. BK20130046), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 61525402 and 21275076), QingLan Project, Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University (No. NCET-13-0853), Synergetic Innovation Center for Organic Electronics and Information Displays, the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (PAPD), SERC Grant (No. 1021700142) from A*STAR, Singapore, the scholarship from China Scholarships Council (No. 201508320304), the Jiangsu Provincial Founds for Graduate Student Innovation Project (No. KYLX15_0821).

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Email: nanores@tup.tsinghua.edu.cn

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