Cobalt-Encapsulated Nitrogen-Doped Carbon Nanotube Arrays for Flexible Zinc–Air Batteries
With the current rapid growth of commercial applications for flexible and wearable optoelectronic devices, flexible power sources are very much in demand. Herein, a facile strategy to grow cobalt nanoparticles encapsulated in nitrogen-doped carbon nanotube arrays on flexible carbon fiber cloth as self-supported electrodes for high-performance flexible zinc–air batteries is developed. Benefiting from high electrical conductivity and multiple active sites as well as free polymer binder, the self-supported electrode exhibits excellent electrocatalytic activity. The maximum power density of a zinc-air battery using the self-supported electrode as air cathode is higher than that of the zinc-air battery with Pt/C+IrO2 as air electrode. Furthermore, the zinc-air battery can be stably operated under external stress without obvious loss of the electrochemical performance. This work opens up a new pathway for the rational design of flexible electrodes for high-performance flexible power sources.