1. Pioneering 3d Transition Metals Coordination Polymers as Novel Electrocatalysts for Metal-air Batteries JSPS Kakenhi C Grant (2020-2023)

In this project, we are working on developing new electrocatalysts for oxygen evolution reaction (OER) and oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) working in alkaline solutions. Lithium-air batteries have attracted focus of many research groups worldwide due to their higher theoretical gravimetric energy density in comparison to the current Li-ion batteries. With the three times higher energy density, such batteries could power electrical vehicles up to 500 km distance on a single charge. Commercialization of these batteries is hindered by the development of bifunctional catalyst that can efficiently catalyze both ORR and OER. Under this project, we proposed a new method for preparing an efficient electrocatalyst for alkaline media. The method includes in situ electrochemical transformation of Cu and Ni chelate polymers into copper oxides nickel oxyhydroxides well-dispersed in the carbon matrix.

    Transformation of Cu(dto) chelate polymer in 1M KOH results in formation of nanostructured CuO and Cu2O oxides. Post cycling XRD showed that CuO is cative towards OER and Cu2O catalyzes ORR.

    Transformation of Ni(dto) in 1 M KOH leads to formation of nanostructured NiOOH. Particularly, gamma phase was found active towards OER and ORR.

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