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QIBEBT Develops Cathode Materials for Li-O2 Batteries

The lithium-air battery, which has a comparable theoretical energy density with gasoline, has been considered one of the most promising energy storage devices for electric vehicles.
High over-potential and short cycle life-times represent two major challenges to develop the currently investigated Li-O2 batteries. To address these issues, Professor CUI Guanglei and his colleagues at Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, have optimized various nanostructured cathode materials based on their investigation of material structure and its corresponding effect. Transition-metal nitrides possess a similar electronic structure with noble metals of Pt up to Fermi level. Therefore, transition-metal nitrides, such as MoN, have exhibited a promising catalytic activity towards oxygen reduction reaction, both in aqueous and non-aqueous electrolyte. The cathodes based on transition metal nitrides lower the voltage gap between charge and discharge plateau, which improves the round-trip efficiency. To improve the cycle life of Li-O2 cell, an efficient bifunctional electrocatalyst has been designed based on ternary metal nitride of Co3Mo3N. The Co3Mo3N cathode with mesoporous nanostructure significantly enhanced the cycle performance under no restrictions of charge/discharge capacity (J. Phys. Chem. C, 2013, 117, 858–865).
Based on the extensive researches into transition metal nitride based energy storage in recent years, CUI et al. reviewed the progressing on transition metal nitrides for electrochemical energy storage and conversion (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ccr.2012.12.012). In this review, the promise and challenges for the application of transition metal nitrides in Li-O2 batteries have been highlighted.
These works were supported by National Program on Key Basic Research Project of China (973 Program), the “100 talents” program of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shangdong Province Fund for Distinguished Young Scientist, and Key Laboratory of Qingdao. Relevant Results have been published in Chem. Commun. (Chem. Commun., 2011, 47, 11291-11293), J. Phys. Chem. C, ChemSusChem. (ChemSusChem, 2012, 5, 1712-1715), Coordin. Chem. Rev.. Furthermore, on the related key materials patent about solid state electrolyte and its non-aqueous Li-O2 flow battery design have been applied and one have been approved (CN 102637890 A, ZL 200910249811.4).

Prof. Dr. CUI Guanglei
Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Phone: +86-(0)532-80662746
E-mail: cuigl@qibebt.ac.cn

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