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Research Article

Heterointerface engineering of assembled CoP2 on N-modified carbon as efficient trifunctional electrocatalysts for Zn-Air batteries and overall water splitting

Yan Chen1Zhenrui Yang1Juan Wang1Yun Yang1Xuedong He1Yang Wang1( )Jiadong Chen1,2( )Yaqing Guo1Xin Wang3Shun Wang1Huile Jin1,2( )
Wenzhou Key Lab of Advanced Energy Storage and Conversion, Zhejiang Province Key Lab of Leather Engineering, College of Chemistry and Materials Engineering, Wenzhou University, Wenzhou 325035, China
Zhejiang Engineering Research Center for Electrochemical Energy Materials and Devices, Institute of New Materials and Industrial Technologies, Wenzhou University, Wenzhou 325035, China
School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 637459, Singapore
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Graphical Abstract

The synthesized cobalt phosphide on a two-dimensional (2D) carbon carrier has been effectively employed in multifunctional catalysis, delivering satisfactory performance in zinc-air batteries and water splitting along with an impressive stability exceeding 100 h.


Enhancing catalytic activity through modulating the interaction between N-doped carbon and metal phosphides clusters is an effective approach. Herein, the electronic structure modulation of CoP2 supported N-modified carbon (CoP2/NC) has been designed and prepared as efficient electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), oxygen evolution reaction (OER), and hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). Notably, CoP2/NC-1 catalyst exhibits impressive performance in alkaline media, with an ORR half-wave potential of 0.84 V, as well as OER and HER overpotentials of 290 and 129 mV (at 10 mA·cm−2), respectively. In addition, CoP2/NC-1 produces a power density as high as 172.9 mW·cm−2, and excellent reversibility of 100 h at 20 mA·cm−2 in home-made Zn-air batteries. The experimental results demonstrate that the synergistic interactions between N modified carbon substrate and CoP2 material significantly enhance the kinetics of ORR, OER, and HER. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations reveal the strong electrons redistribution of CoP2 induced by high-density N atoms at the interface, thus optimizing the key intermediates and significantly lower the energy barrier of reactions. These electronic adjustments of CoP2 greatly enhance its kinetics of ORR/OER/HER, leading to faster reactions. This study provides profound insights into the specific modification of CoP2 by N-doped carbon, enabling the construction of efficient catalysts.

Electronic Supplementary Material

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Nano Research
Pages 3801-3809
Cite this article:
Chen Y, Yang Z, Wang J, et al. Heterointerface engineering of assembled CoP2 on N-modified carbon as efficient trifunctional electrocatalysts for Zn-Air batteries and overall water splitting. Nano Research, 2024, 17(5): 3801-3809.






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Received: 08 October 2023
Revised: 04 November 2023
Accepted: 05 November 2023
Published: 29 December 2023
© Tsinghua University Press 2023