Highly reversible Li-O2 battery induced by modulating local electronic structure via synergistic interfacial interaction between ruthenium nanoparticles and hierarchically porous carbon
The interfacial interaction between catalysts and substrates has been considered as a pivotal factor determining the activities in different applications. However, interfacial interaction-dependent catalytic activities are currently neglected in understanding oxygen involved reaction in Li-O2 battery, seriously restricting the development of high performance Li-O2 battery. Herein, Ru@hierarchically porous carbon (Ru@HPC) with well-defined interfaces are fabricated and employed as cathode in Li-O2 battery. Notably, Ru@HPC based Li-O2 battery demonstrate better performance than that based on cathode formed by simply mixing Ru nanoparticles with hierarchically porous carbon (Ru/HPC). The Ru@HPC improved performance with a large specific capacity of ~7100 mA h g−1, high round-trip efficiency of 71%, high rate capability, and excellent cyclic stability of over 125 cycles (over 40 days). Density functional theory calculations indicated that the interfacial interaction between Ru nanoparticles and carbon substrate in Ru@HPC, which triggers electron transfer from ruthenium to carbon and thus optimizes the surface adsorption energy of the reactants and intermediate, facilitates the performance improvement of Li-O2 battery. Our study for the first time reveals that the interfacial interaction between catalyst and substrate is a critical factor determining the Li-O2 battery performance and offers a promising design strategy of catalyst for Li-O2 batteries.