Porous and single-crystalline-like molybdenum nitride nanobelts as a non-noble electrocatalyst for alkaline fuel cells and electrode materials for supercapacitors
Replacing precious and nondurable Pt catalysts with cheap materials is a key issue for commercialization of fuel cells. Intriguing transition metal nitrides (TMNs) have attracted great attentions as promising economic alternatives to Pt catalysts due to their noble metal-like properties. However, most of as-synthesized TMNs are nanoparticles until now. Clearly, the practical catalytic activities of such materials have hitherto been intrinsically restricted by the relatively small surface area and poor crystallinity of nanoparticles. Here, highly porous and "single-crystal-like" Mo2N nanobelts with high density of nanopores have been synthesized on gram-scale. These novel Mo2N nanobelts exhibited high electrocatalytic activity in alkaline electrolyte even better than that of other non-Pt materials and appear to be promising Pt-free cathodic electrocatalysts in alkaline fuel cells. This discovery reveals a new type of metal nitride ORR catalyst and appear to be promising Pt-free cathodic electrocatalysts in alkaline fuel cells.