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Lithium (Li)-O2 batteries have triggered worldwide interest due to their ultrahigh theoretical energy density. However, it is a long shot for the grand-scale applications of Li-O2 battery at current stage owing to its significant polarization, inferior cycling life, and irreversible decomposition of Li2O2. Herein, a facile way of preparing the highly dispersed Co-based nanoparticles encapsulated into porous N-doping carbon polyhedral with the low content of Ru modification (LRu@HDCo-NC) is explored through the pyrolysis of Co/Zn based zeolitic imidazole frameworks (ZIFs) containing Ru-based ligands. Even with the very small amount of Ru introduction (1.8%), LRu@HDCo-NC still exhibits the superior oxygen evolution reaction/oxygen reduction reaction (OER/ORR) performance and also inhibits side reactions in Li-O2 battery because of the abundant pores, plentiful surface N heteroatoms, and highly dispersed metal-based sites which are induced by the volatilization of Zn, and conductive/stable carbon skeleton derived from ZIFs. When applied in Li-O2 batteries, LRu@HDCo-NC cathode delivers a high discharge capacity of 15,973 mAh·g−1 at 200 mA·g−1, good capacity retention at higher rate (12,362 mAh·g−1 at 500 mA·g−1) and outstanding stability for > 300 cycles with low voltage polarization of < 2.3 V under a cut-off capacity of 1,000 mAh·g −1 at 500 mA·g−1. More critically, a series of ex situ and in situ characterization technologies disclose that the LRu@HDCo-NC cathodes can effectively promote the reversible reactions in Li-O2 batteries.

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Publication history

Received: 02 July 2021
Revised: 30 August 2021
Accepted: 15 October 2021
Published: 04 November 2021
Issue date: September 2021

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© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2021

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge funding support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 21905151 and 51772162), Youth Innovation and Technology Foundation of Shandong Higher Education Institutions, China (No. 2019KJC004), Outstanding Youth Foundation of Shandong Province, China (No. ZR2019JQ14), Taishan Scholar Young Talent Program, Major Scientific and Technological Innovation Project (No. 2019JZZY020405), and the Postdoctoral Science Foundation of China (No. 2019M652499).

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Email: nanores@tup.tsinghua.edu.cn

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